Oshiwambo love poem
Efano loye moshisipili
Okatevo kange kawa,
Ndele ohakakanapo divadiva,
Olo lwahugunina okutya ondikuhole
Audio Ester Amia
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Ovambo language and the Ambo
Oshiwambo (oshikwanyama, ovambo, wambo, kwanjama), is a language spoken in Angola and Namibia, which is not far herero. This is the language of the Ovambo people (aawambo), which counts almost 2 million speakers, if we count the ten dialects that exist. The Ambos would have migrated in the 14th century to the south of the Zambezi. The Ovambos are the most important ethnic group in Namibia, they are farmers and the region where they are found is called Owamboland. They live in permanent villages.
Their political system consists of a royalty supported by an hereditary aristocracy, in which the queen mother enjoys a great prestige. Known as Ajamba, they got the name "Ovambo" by the Hereros. Unlike other Khoisan peoples, their social structure is rather elaborate and rests on the entity of the tribe. The Ovambos appeared on their arrival in Namibia, as a people with a well-established social order, with one or more supreme authorities. On the other hand, it is necessary to note dissension between the groups, the Ndongas imposing their views to the others.
Now, have a look on Angola (where this poem comes from), and its literature: While many of its most representative writers have been marked by Portuguese neorealism, we must not neglect the importance of the Senghorian negritude movement, by example with the poet Viriato da Cruz.
In Angola, writers evolve from a form modeled on Western models, to a writing that tries to espouse the rules of orality. Angolan literature is similar in many respects to Francophone and Anglophone productions: the paintings of social reality, the protest against colonialism predominate among Mario Antonio, Amaldo Santos and Santos Lima, while poets such as Antonio Cardoso or Agostinho Neto (Colectanea de poemas) strongly marked by surrealism, try to express their discomfort in a Portuguese that would have disgorged "its whiteness".