The meaning of some places in Oshiwambo (Part 6)

By Petrus Angula Mbenzi
March 2014
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Eko lyaNaambo:  The name of the village in Oshana region named after Naambo (a girl born in a newly established place or born while the father was at the cattle post).  The girl lived in Uukwanyama tribal area but she fell pregnant and escaped to Ondonga. When she became tired of walking she hid in a hole from which clay for pot making was extracted.  Such a pit is called Eko.  She remained in this hole until people who were looking for her whereabouts, found her and killed her hence the name Eko lyaNaambo(the hole of Naambo.


Onkani:  The name of the village, school and parish in the Elim Constituency in the Omusati Region.  It is based on certain men who were looking for a cow which went astray in this area.  They kept on looking for it but to no avail.  They finally gave up and said: Onkani natu yi etheni  (It is a stray cow. Let us leave it).  The name thus comes from the verb stem – kana(to be lost) .When the verb stem is nominalised it is transferred to noun class 10) which is an animal class, and is characterised by the use of the nasal sound such as n, m.


Omutse gwokanona:  The name of the village in the Oshana Region.  The name means the head of a child because a child was attacked and killed by the hyena in this village. The lion devoured the entire body and only the head of the child was left.


Ondiihahala:  The name of the village in the Oshana Region.  This place got its name because a certain man together with other men was sleeping under the small African ebony tree.  He was very scared of lions.  While they were asleep he grabbed his axe and cut his knee thinking that it was a lion.  He cried out:  Nda lika kOndiihahala(I am bitten by the Ondiihahala) because he forgot the name onkoshi(a lion) Ondiihahalameans I cut myself).


Ondiikalela:  The name of the village in the Oshana Region in the Ondangwa Constituency.  A certain man erected his shebeen in a place where there were no shebeens.  Ondiikalelatherefore means I am alone.  The whole place then got this name.


Onaamehandiya:  The name of the village in the Omusati Region in the Okalongo Constituency.  The place got its name because the Aambandja speaking people from Angola moved into this area.  These Aambandja used to call on the other Aambandja in Angola.  The Aambandja in Ombandja one by one used to say: naame ohandi ya(I will also come) the place occupied by the Aambandja in Okalongo Constituency became known as Onaamehandiya.


Omatelekelo:  The name of the village in the Omusati Region in the Ogongo Constituency.  In this area there was a small African ebony tree under which food for the people who undertook trips in search of employment, was prepared especially when they had to go to Uushimba(the area east of Oshivelo).


Eteta lya lekwa:  The name of the village in Ohangwena Constituency.  In this village there were a cluster of shebeens where people sold the omateta(offal of animals).  These omatetawere always hanged on something so that they could be seen by the potential buyers.  The entire place was named Eteta lya lekwa(the offal which is hanged on something).


Okaye kAanyekadhi:  The name of the place in the Oshikoto Region in the Oniipa Constituency.  There was a small bird plum tree where the royal fiancées who graduated from initiation school used to rest under this okaye. This okayewas thus named OkayekAanyekadhi(the small bird plum trees of the royal men’s fiancées).


Onampadhi:  The name of the school, and village in Oshikoto Region in the Oniipa Constituency.  The name is based on the disappearance of the footprint of one thief.  The people traced the footprint but it disappeared in this place.  Onampadhimeans the place which has a foot.  Ompadhiin Oshiwambo refers to the foot or footprint.


Okaputu kOmawendo:  The name of the place in the Oshikoto Region in the Oniipa Constituency.  The Okaputu kOmawendomeans an uncultivated land of cemetery it is given this name because people who died of starvation were thrown into this place.


Onteta:  The name of the village in the Oshana Region in the Okatana Constituency.  The place is named after the loin cloth of a woman who ran away from the oompugulu(wild beasts) and her loin cloth (onteta) fell off while she was being chased.


Enoleu:  The name of parish, school and village in the Omusati region in the Ohetayi Constituency.  It consists of two words eno(thorn tree) + eu(unwanted corn).  In this place there was a thorn tree which served as a trading centre for Mahangu (millet fingers).  The eugrew in this tree and people began to say: Otatu yi kenoleu(We are going to the thorn tree under which the eu has grown) PF