MAHERERO (Chiefdom)

TITLE: Okahandja Herero (Paramount Chief of the Herero) TRIBE: ovaHerero
STATE: Namibia DYNASTY: Tjamuaha-Maherero
PRESENT RULER: Paramount Chief VEKUII REINHARD RUKORO, present Okahandjo Herero (Paramount Chief of the Herero people) since September 2014.
born 11th November 1954 in Otjiwarongo, educated at Primary schools in Swakopmund and Karibib, at secondary school in Döbra, at the University of Warwick 1980/1983 (LL.B. (Honours), 1983), and at the Washington College of Law (LL.M., 1987); he joined the South West Africa National Union (SWANU) in 1975 and became its secretary-general but left in 1978, returning to SWANU, again becoming secretary-general in 1984, and the party's president in 1989; President, Namibia National Front (NNF), 1989; Member of the Constituent Assembly of Namibia where he was one of the main drafters of Namibia's Constitution; Deputy Minister of Justice, 1990/1995; he served as Attorney-General 1995/2000; Managing Director for Sanlam Namibia, 2000/-; Chairman of Air Namibia; C.E.O., First National Bank Namibia, 2006/2013; C.E.O., Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), 2013/-; he was appointed Paramount Chief in September 2014.
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Founded before 1700. Paramount Chief is re-installed on 1st June 1925. Rulers were...
  • Chief MUTJISE ua Mbunga, Okahandjo Herero
  • Chief TJIRUE ua Mutjise, Okahandjo Herero -/1842
    • Chief Tjamuaha ua Tjirue (qv)
    • Katjeua ua Tjirue, married and had issue.
      • Mbazuva, married and had issue.
        • Mutenja, married Tutonderumbi, and had issue.
          • Utuametambo Riruako, he was a veteran of the 1904 war; married and had issue.
            • Amon Kaamakaa Riruako, member of the Aminuis Chief’s Council and messenger of the main Chief’s Council, he was praise-sung as Omukwendjandje from the Otjiporo clan; married Uiiue Renate Veseevete, daughter of Kamungerenjau Veseevete, and his wife, Katjomenje, and had issue.
              • Kamunduatjike, she married and had issue.
              • Karusuko, she married Muingona Jonathan Katjimuine, and had issue.
              • Paramount Chief Kuaima Isaac Riruako, Okahandjo Herero (see below)
  • Chief TJAMUAHA ua Tjirue, Okahandjo Herero 1842/1861, born about 1790, married (amongst others), Tjorozumo Chief Wife, and had issue. He died 18th August 1861.
    • Paramount Chief Maherero ua Tjamuaha (by Tjorozumo) (qv)
    • Chief Kavikunua ua Tjamuaha, married and had issue. He died 1858.
      • Chief Nikodemus Kambahahiza Kavikunua, he disputed the succession of his uncle in 1890 and was named Chief at Ovambanderu, he was executed 11th June 1896 in Okahandja.
    • Chief Kariteova ua Tjamuaha
    • Chief Rijarua ua Tjamuaha
    • Chief Kavezeri ua Tjamuaha, born 1845, he became custodian of the sacred fire after his father died.
  • Paramount Chief MAHERERO ua Tjamuaha, Okahandjo Herero 1861/1890, born about 1820 or 1829? at Otjikune near Okahandja, from about 1863, he refused to accept the dominance of the Afrikaners and was recognized by both the Herero people and the Europeans within the country as the representative of all the Hereros, shortly afterwards he emerged as the first Herero Paramount Chief; in 1885, he signed a treaty accepting German protection over the country; married over 60 wives, and had issue. He died 7th October 1890.
    • Paramount Chief Samuel Maherero (qv)
    • Chief William Maherero, died December 1880.
    • Chief Traugott Maharero, died after August 1923.
  • Paramount Chief SAMUEL MAHERERO, Okahandjo Herero 1890/1917, born 1854, he was educated at local Lutheran schools, where he was seen as a potential priest; he was appointed Chief in the Okahandja area after his father's death in 1890; he secretly planned a revolt with the other chiefs against the German presence, which began on 12th January 1904, initially successful, the Herero fighters were destroyed at the Battle of Waterberg on 11th August 1904 and those remaining were driven into the deserts of the Omaheke Region, he succeeded in leading around 1,000 of his people to the British Bechuanaland Protectorate (today Botswana), where he died in exile; married and had issue. He died 14th March 1923 in Serowe, his body was returned to Okahandja in Namibia on 23rd August 1923, and was ceremoniously buried in Namibia there. 
    • Chief Frederick Maherero, born 1875, candidate for Paramount Chief in 1923, Chief in exile from 1924 till his death. He died 11th September 1952.
  • Chief Hosea KutakoParamount Chief HOSEA KOMOMBUMBI KUTAKO KATJIKUKURUME, Okahandjo Herero [1.6.1925] - [26.7.1970], born 1870 in Okahurimehi, Okahandja Distt., Namibia, he was officially appointed as leader of the Herero by Frederik Maharero in 1920, he prompted and organized the transfer of Samuel Maharero’s body and its funeral on Okahandja next to the grave of Jonker Afrikaner; he also founded the Truppenspieler association; with others, he founded the South West African National Union (SWANU) in 1959, an organization that was to merge into SWAPO a year later; he was named Leader of Hereroland 1968/1970. He died 26th July 1970 in the Aminuis Reserve.
  • Paramount Chief CLEMENS MUTUURUNGE KAPUUO, Okahandjo Herero [26.7.1970] - [27.3.1978], son of Clemens Kapuoo, and his wife, Alexandeline, he was also cousin of Samuel Maherero, born 16th March 1923 in Ozondjona, Okahandja Distt., S.W.A., educated at a Primary school in Okahandja in 1931 and at St. Barnabas Anglican Church School, Windhoek from 1937, he qualified as a teacher at Viljoensdrif, and at the Stoffberg Training College, both in in the Orange Free State; afterwards he taught at primary schools in Waterberg and Karibib, and in 1946 transferred to St. Barnabas where he taught English; President of the SWA Teachers Association 1950/1953; Member of the founding committee of the South West Africa National Union (SWANU) 1958/1960; appointed deputy chief to Hosea Kutako in 1960; Leader of the National Unity Democratic Organization 1964/-; Member of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance 1974/1978; married and had issue. He was assassinated by an unknown assailant on 27th March 1978 in Katutura, Windhoek, S.W.A.
    • Alexandrine Kapuuo
    • Elizabeth Kazondovi
  • Paramount Chief Kuaima
                      Isaac RiruakoParamount Chief KUAIMA ISAAC RIRUAKO, Okahandjo Herero [7.6. 1978] - [2.6.2014], born 24th April 1935 at Aminuis in Omaheke as Issaskar Kakurundiro, later assuming the name Kuaima after his grandfather; son of Amon Riruako, and his wife, Uiiue Renate Veseevete, he was the nephew of Paramount Chief Petrus Hosea Katjikukurume Kutako and grand nephew of Paramount Chief Samuel Maherero, educated at St. Barnabas Primary School in Windhoek and at the Kwame Nkumah School of Ideology in Accra, Ghana; he was the founder of N.U.D.O. in 1964 and remained its leader until his passing; that same year he went into exile, eventually settling in the U.S.A., where he furthered his education and obtained an Associate B.A. degree at the New York University, he returned to Namibia in 1977; Member of the Constitutional Council 1986/1987; he served as a D.T.A. member of the National Assembly from 1995 until September 2003 and then served as a N.U.D.O. member of the National Assembly from March 2005; married 1stly (div.), Constancia, married 2ndly, and had issue, sixteen children. He died on 2nd June 2014 in the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek after a short illness.
    • Brian Riruako
    • Mathilda Riruako
  • Chief Fanuel Tumbee Tjombe, Acting Chief of the Herero [2.6.2014] - [xx.7/8.2014], he died after only a few weeks in the position.
  • Paramount Chief VEKUII REINHARD RUKORO, Okahandjo Herero (see above)