May 15, 2012

Rehoboth Basters: Commemoration Of Sam!Khubis Held

On May 8th, the Rehoboth community of Walvis Bay commemorated the battle of Sam !Khubis, a decisive event that strengthened their unity.

Below is an article published by New Era:

Close to 150 members of the Rehoboth community in Walvis Bay, recently commemorated the battle of Sam !Khubis, about 80 kilometres northwest of Rehoboth.

Every year on the 8th of May, the Rehoboth Basters commemorate the battle of Sam !Khubis, which took place on May 8 1915, when the German colonial army attacked the Baster people who had fled to their last stronghold of Sam !Khubis.

The battle of Sam !Khubis turned into a miraculous survival, which is celebrated every year to remind the Baster people of the threat they faced and overcame together.

This year marks the 97th commemoration of the battle and it was also the first time that the event was commemorated in Walvis Bay.
The historical battle occurred when the German colonial army tried to attack the Baster people in Rehoboth.  

The fear of total annihilation by a better-equipped German army created a strong sense of common destiny amongst the Basters. Many Baster soldiers, as well as women and children, were wounded and some killed during the battle.

Often the Baster people will gather and look in the direction of the !Khubis mountains and observe a moment of silence. At Rehoboth, some commemorated May 8 under an old camel-thorn tree – the meeting place of their old Kapteins.
One of the organisers of the event, Josef Benz, said he was overwhelmed considering the fact that the event was organized in a short period of time.

“The fact that we cannot attend the main event every year due to work commitments, motivated us to organise Sam !Khubis in Walvis Bay,” he said  while pointing out the importance of preserving history and culture for future generations.