Rehoboth Baster Community

The Baster Community Remembers

Published by May 10, 2004

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When Rehoboth Baster leaders, their wives and children were staring death in the face on May 8, 1915 amongst the rocky hills of SamKhubis where they were attacked by German imperialist soldiers, they fell to their knees and prayed for deliverance.

Their prayers were answered. Guns went silent as the intruders retreated, leaving an unarmed community to collect the dead and give attention to the wounded.

Hundreds of people over the weekend went back to the Place of Holiness in honour of the promise made by their ancestors to sing songs and praise in commemoration of the Battle of SamKhubis.

Speaking at the commemoration, Information and Broadcasting Minister Nangolo Mbumba said it is known that after all the testing, tempting, humiliation and enslavement the Baster community suffered, by the mercy of God, and true to their faith, commitment and vows, they had survived.

It was not an easy promise, but the Basters had kept it for the past 89 years, he said. He noted that the Baster community, like the rest of Namibia, has seen many changes over the years. They were also concerned that after independence they might lose Basterland.

However, now there is better understanding that the government cannot take away their land as the Namibian Constitution, also written by the Basters, was unanimously adopted. "Your houses, your land, your buildings and farms are yours and in line with the constitution will and cannot be taken away from you as individuals or as a community," he assured the congregation.

What the Basters really should be concerned about, he said, is to properly document their history so that it can be preserved for the future generations so that they can derive inspiration from it. He said the Basters are always known for their good-naturedness and as a friendly and peaceful nation with a rich culture. He appealed to the younger generation to respect and honour the blood that was shed and the suffering that was endured during the Battle of SamKhubis.

"Let us educate our children, heal the sick and build a community and country," he said.

In addition, Mbumba noted that the Basters couldn't continue living as a divided society. "You need to resolve your differences in a peaceful and transparent manner. Those who are self-centred should get rid of it," he urged them.

The theme for this year\'s gathering was 'Agapa' meaning Godly Love or Christian Love. He asked the congregation to think about it and decide whether they want to fall individually or stand tall and proud united.

Source: NewEra