The meaning of some places in Oshiwambo (Part 4)

By Petrus Angula Mbenzi
December 2013/January 2014



Endola:is the name of the parish, village, and constituency in  the  Ohangwena Region.  At this place there are pans which contain deep holes.  These holes are called oindola(plural of endola). Because of the presence of the deep holes in the water pans the place became known as Endola.


Omusati gwoPoosa:  This is the name of the place in the Okaku Constituency is the Oshana Region.  A post box was hooked to a mopane tree.  People used to do mailing at the site.  The place became known as Omusati gwoPoosa(the mopane tree of post box).


Okapya:  This place is situated in the Oshana Region.  There are too many water places in the area and people have small mahangu plots because the land available for raising mahangu is small, thus it is called Okapya(small field).


Etilyasa: This means the wood is dead.  This place is in the Omusati Region and is the name of the parish and village.  In this place there is a dead wood that has been there for ages, but people who tried to chop fire wood from this dead tree were always shocked because the firewood from this dead wood magically returned to the tree.  The tree is still there, but nobody dares to chop wood from it because the residents of this place are scared of being haunted by magic.  The place got its name from this dead tree because etimeans a big tree, lya- is concord, sa- is a verbstem meaning to die.  Lyasais therefore an adjective describing the quality of the tree.


Oda-ya-fingwa:  The is the name of the village in Endola Constituency in the Ohangwena Region.  It means the penis is cursed.  In this village there was a man who used to sleep with the wives of other men while they were away in the south and central parts of Namibia for employment.  The residents became fed up with him because of his promiscuity and said ‘oda yaShinime oya fingwa tai tu teele po omaumbo(the penis of Shinime is cursed because it is destroying our families) It was later shortened to odayafingwa(the cursed penis).


Okatanaliterally means a calf.  It is the name of the village, school and constituency in the Oshana Region.  There were several boreholes in this area and often a sound that looks like that of a calf came from one of the boreholes.


Onekondjelo:  This is the name of the vlei in the Oshana Region. This vlei is situated near the border between the Onanime and Onalunkono village.  Two men had been fighting for the ownership of this vlei because both of them claimed ownership of it.  The struggle for ownership continued for years on end and people named the vlei Onekondjelo, which means what is being fought for.


Onanime:  The name of the village in Oshana in the Uukwambi district.  The word comes from the particle ona– (to have) and the name onime(lion).  Onanimemeans a place of a lion.  A lion often lies down next to the pond from which people drew water.  When people went to draw water from the village they got there in a group for fear of the lion.  The place thus became known as Onanime(a place of lion).


Ongombeyaola:  This is the name of a village in the Ongenga Constituency in the Ohangwena Region.  Here a number of cattle suffered from a certain cattle disease and a number of them died.  People were really shocked and overwhelmed because they could not skin them all.  Several carcasses were left there until they became rotten .Ongombeyaolatherefore means the cow that is rotten.


Oshikondiilongo:  The name of the village in the Oshana Region.  The area is along the border between Ondonga and Uukwanyama.  If one crosses this area one would enter another tribal area namely Uukwanyama. The name comes from the noun okukonda(to cross) and iilongo(areas).  It therefore means crossing from one area into another.


Okaloko:  The name of the village in the Oshikoto Region in the Olukonda Constituency.  It is a short form of Okalo komigongo(drinking period of marula tree). The area consists of many marula trees and the drinking period of omagongo(marula drink) is referred to as Okalo.


IiyaleyAasimba: The name of the village in the Uukwaludhi district in the Omusati Region.  In the ancient time when the Oshiwambo speaking girl fell pregnant, she was burnt to death.  The messenger of the chief in this area used to take a pregnant girl to a place where there were many palm bushes and burned her to death. As a result the place was named IiyaleyAasimba(the palm bushes of the pregnant ones).


Uuvudhiya:  The name of the vlei in the Uukwambi district in Omusati Region.  The name consists of two nouns uuvu(disease) and edhiya(vlei).  People who discovered this place drank water from this vlei, but unfortunately they died and people suspected that the deaths were caused by water from this vlei and named the place Uuvudhiya(the vlei of disease).


Uukwangula:  The name of the village in the Okatana Constituency in the Oshana Region People from this village used to get up very early to do their work.  Uukwangulaconsists of the following structure uu– prefix for noun class 14 and genitive morpheme kwa– and the noun stem- ngula(morning).  Ongula(morning) is associated with diligence and hard work in Oshiwambo.PF