From the vault: On Namibia’s genocide with Dr. Kavemuii Murangi (Ep.12)

American Museum of Natural History (Ingfbruno/Wikimedia Commons)

We have to postpone this week’s episode due to illness. BUT — we’re sharing one of our earlier episodes as it relates to a new discovery. There was news this week that the American Museum of Natural History in New York is thought to be holding remains of victims of genocide in what was then known as South-West Africa and is today Namibia. From the report:

Barnabas Veraa Katuuo of the Association of The Ovaherero Genocide said two of the eight human remains in the museum identified as from Namibia were probably those of people who died in concentration camps during an attempt by the German authorities to crush a rebellion by the Herero and Namaqua between 1904 and 1908.

In Episode 12, we spoke with Dr. Kavemuii Murangi, a Namibian-born educator currently residing in the United States. He is a descendant of the victims of the Ovaherero genocide of 1904-1908 (his great-great grandfather died in 1904 during the genocide war) and co-founder of the U.S.-based OvaHerero, Mbanderu and Nama Genocides Institute.

For background on the genocide, you may want to read this piece I co-authored with Naunihal Singh two years ago, when the Pope incorrectly referred to the Armenian genocide as the first genocide of the 20th century (he must have forgot the systematic killings of Herero and Nama peoples at the hands of German colonial rule).

The music in Episode 12 comes from Namibian-born artist Elemotho. His song “Black Man” is powerful — and so is the award-winning video:

Our chat with Dr. Murangi begins at 8:57 and Elemotho’s song “Black Man” begins at 17:52:


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