Olufuko is Aawambo traditional practice where girls often as young as 12 are prepared for womanhood, including marriage and pregnancy, and caring for families. This practice is performed by an elderly man, known as namunganga, and is accompanied by drumming and dancing. It is a practice that turns girls and young women into brides without grooms. Over the years this initiation practice has been banned by the mainstream Christian churches, labelling the practice pagan, and against Christianity.
According to tradition, the girls cannot reject Olufuko, because it is believed that rejection would bring a curse upon them (e.g they may never get married ). Those that reject Olufuko face misfortunes, including falling victim to unwanted pregnancies, not being able to bear children or facing the death of a parent, as a result of the curse. Thus, traditionally a girl who turns down Olufuko would be manhand-led, tied up and dragged to the Olufuko homestead. Meekulu Saara Walaula, who is the wife of the Aambadja Senior Chief Tatekulu Mathias Walaula, said the Olufuko initiation lasts for seven days and each day serves a purpose in the process. The person ordained to carry out Olufuko is called namunganga.
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