Namibia & Tribalism
“Building the Namibia We Want: The Road to Ending Tribalism”



Date and Time: Thursday, July 28th, 2022, 18:30PM (CAT)

Location: Online (Zoom)

Topics: Namibia & Tribalism

Host: HWPL Gangwon Branch


Hermann Hosabe /Honeb, former Mayor of Henties Bay and Namibian war veteran

Mr. Robert Maseka, Rob Youth Foundation, Founder

Mr. Levy Nyirenda , Regional Focal Point for East and Southern Africa for the UN Group for Children and Youth

Mr. Obyster Muleke, Ministry of Gender


The Webinar was held to raise awareness of the impact of tribalism in Namibia and to educate participants on the history of tribalism and the human rights violations that came about as a result of tribalism.

“We have seen brutal killings, disruption of projects, and hindrances in development due to tribalism. What we need to spread is heavenly culture to achieve a society that is not tribal. As young people, we need to think of the future world we would like to live in and take ownership of our societies.”

– Mr. Levy Nyirenda –

“To curb tribalism, we need a strong majority from all tribes to advocate for equality, to achieve the One Namibian Dream. We should develop a sense of unity from our past by creating structures that support the Namibian dream. We should save the land of the brave before tribal wars erupt”

– Mr. Robert Maseka –

“Tribalism continues to affect resource distribution in Namibia” and “Tribalism has become political in nature, individuals’ capacities to lead are determined by what tribe they come from”.

– Mr. Obyster Muleke –

“the long-standing entanglement of troubles has led to a lack of national harmony and co-prosperity. In the Mindanao conflict, there was mediation by a third party in addition to the efforts of the parties to the conflict.”

– Ms. Aina Shiimi –


Introduction Webinar

On 28 July 2022, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) held a webinar titled ‘Tribalism and Namibia’ along with International Women Peace Group (IWPG) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG).

About 200 people, including government officials, religious leaders, civil society organizations, and women and youth leaders, participated in the event under the theme, “Building the Namibia We Want: The Road to Ending Tribalism”.

The Webinar was held to raise awareness on the impact of tribalism in Namibia and to educate participants on the history of tribalism and the human rights violations that occurred under the banner of tribalism.


Background Information

In 2020, The Namibia newspaper published an opinion piece by Professor Andre du Pisani which pained the narrative that Tribalism exists in Namibia and that it should be dealt with. In the article, the professor wrote that scholars have concluded that ethno-nationalism (read tribalism) is the current reality. It is also said to be an emotive power that has shaped many borders in the past. It remains an unwieldy force which influences political thinking and considerations. This in turn, results in political spasms as we have seen in Namibia.
A more recent article which was written almost a year later supported his views. This article was published in the New Era newspaper, and it contended that Tribalism and regionalism in Namibia, has created new forms of rivalling societies between the North and South.
Considering the articles mentioned above, participants were invited to engage on the topic of tribalism and consider its existence in Namibia.


Points of discussion

The panelists were invited to present on the origins of tribalism on the African continent and answer questions such as, “Is there tribalism in Namibia?” “How did it come about?” and “Where do we start in building the Namibia we want?”
Following the speech from the panelists, we had an open dialogue moderated by HWPL. To initiate the discussion, the moderator posed a question, ask participants what they understand by the term “Tribalsim”. This was followed by areas and instances where they witnessed tribalism existing.

“It was a very good topic of discussion, and we need to continue with the discussion and get everyone involved” Mr Charles Simankumba

“We need to reach out to more public figures and other organizations that can add to the dialogue or be agents of change in society towards the Issue being discussed. Here in Zambia, we have local communities, where people have no access to TV. I was just thinking that, if possible, they can also follow, through radio, even after the actual dialogue. Taking the recordings to some TV stations or broadcasting it live.” Mr. Levi Nyirenda


Next Steps

We will continue to hold webinars with this topic to raise awareness of how tribalism can lead to human rights violations.


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