The moment of victory for activists has finally arrived as politicians in Berlin, Germany have agreed to change street names associated with atrocities committed by German colonial powers during their occupation of Namibia.
After more than a decade of debate, the lawmakers voted on Wednesday night to recommend new names for streets in the area known as the “African Quarter.”
The German colonisers of what was then called South West Africa now Namibia killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 massacres. Historians have since referred to it as the first genocide of the 20th century.
Streets in African Quarter in the northwest of the German capital bear names of some of the people behind those atrocities, such as Lüderitzstraße, after Franz Adolf Lüderitz, the founder of South West Africa.
Many have since described this as a form of glorification of colonialism and its bloody consequences.
The latest development is that those names on the streets are now going to be dropped and replaced with those of freedom fighters such as Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda, a Herero woman who played a key role in Namibia’s independence movement.
Other streets according to news site AFP will now be called Maji Maji Boulevard, Cornelius Frederiks Street, and Bell Square.
Maji Maji was a battle cry used in the freedom struggle while Cornelius Frederiks led the Nama people’s resistance.
Bell Square is after the freedom fighter Rudolf Douala Manga Bell who was a Duala king in today’s Cameroon.
He, along with his wife Emily, resisted land grabs by white colonisers.