On 15 February 2023, the German Embassy, represented by Ambassador Herbert Beck, and the Samuel Maharero Heritage Foundation, represented by Mr. Kenandei Tjivikua and Mr. Hirukevi Kaapama, signed an agreement concerning the renovation of the OtjikaTjamuaha Holy Shrine in Okahandja. The Foundation will receive 125,000 EURO (circa 2,3 Million Namibian Dollars) to renovate both the graves and the surrounding area until 2024.
The project aims to renovate the burial site in order to restore the dignity of the persons buried there as well as that of the descendants. Further, the project aims to enable the sustainable use of the site for educational and historical purposes, both for Namibians as well as foreign visitors.
Commenting at the signing, Mr. Tjivikua stated that “After a protracted application process, the Foundation is excited that we secured this funding that will assist in restoring and preserving important traditional and cultural symbols for posterity. We embrace and cherish this gesture.”
The OtjikaTjamuaha Holy Shrine is the burial site of prominent late Ovaherero leaders, descended from the OtjikaTjamuaha dynasty, including Tjamuaha, Maharero, and Samuel Maharero. The site is an important symbol of the Namibian national heritage, which however has fallen into a state of dilapidation in the last years.
The project is funded through the cultural preservation fund of the Federal Foreign Office. Since 1981, Germany has supported the preservation of cultural heritage in developing countries and of German cultural heritage abroad, as part of the Cultural
Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office. As part of this Programme, Namibia so far has received ca. 1 million Euros for the preservation of cultural heritage since 1985.