Oukwanyama queen recognised for contribution to community

Queen Martha Mwadinomho

Oukwanyama Queen Martha Mwadinomho was conferred an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of her significant contributions to advancing some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as her dedication to community development.

The doctor of philosophy in leadership and change management was awarded during the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) graduation ceremony at Eenhana on Friday.

Queen Mwadinomho’s leadership achievements were particularly highlighted. Among her accomplishments is her focus on several SDGs. These include good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16).

According to the Namibia University of Science and Technology Act 7 of 2015, an honorary doctors is one to whom the title doctors is granted in recognition of significant contributions to the university and the community.

Mwadinomho was praised for her leadership achievements.

According to executive dean of commerce, human sciences and education Efigenia Semente, Queen Mwadinomho serves as a role model for the Ovakwanyama community and beyond.

“She encourages charity, volunteerism and active citizenship, acts which are in line with her role and authority,” said Semente.

Since her installation in 2005, succeeding Cornelius Mwetupunga, Queen Mwadinomho has provided care for more than 45 abandoned children and 27 homeless adults through the Omhedi Palace.

“Meekulu has shown contribution and resilience as she echoes the efficacy of ubuntu-based and collective leadership. More specifically, she has tried to remain relevant in the development discourse by championing education,” she added.

In 2015, Mwadinomho made a public appeal to young women in Namibia to avoid illegal abortions and to seek help from the Omhedi Palace when facing unwanted pregnancies.

Additionally, she also established a kindergarten on her premises to cater for orphans and abandoned children between the age of four and six at the palace, which currently cares for 41 children.

“It is noteworthy to mention that the Ovakwanyama were never ruled by a female ohamba (queen) and thus Queen Mwadinomho is the first woman to head and reign as queen of this traditional authority covering 12 districts, 59 clusters and 607 wards.”

Mwadinomho also actively advocated for establishing a higher learning institution closer to the people.

“To her, it was not important whether this was a new institution or an extension of the existing ones. Thus the birth of the Eenhana satellite campus of Nust,” Semente said.

Nust vice chancellor Erold Naomab said the institution is honoured to be associated with Mwadinomho.

“In the contemporary world, characterised with complex cyclical vulnerabilities and development challenges such as poverty, food insecurity and gender inequality, she displayed selfless acts that support mankind, which are rare to come by and hence the need for this recognition.”

Queen Mwadinomho was born into the Oukwanyama royal family at Oifidi village in Angola on 7 August 1931. She is of the totem of the cattle.

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