Otjiwarongo Show a Success


By Mbatjiua Ngavirue OTJIWARONGO The three-day Otjiwarongo Show, which came to an end on Saturday, was a resounding success according to the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Neville Neveling. The Show was well-attended by members of the public, and all the exhibition space was fully sold out – to the extent that one potential exhibitor from Botswana could not be accommodated. This was the first of its kind in many years where the Otjiwarongo Municipality asserted full ownership of the Show and appointed its own committee to organize the event. In the recent past, private individuals were given five-year concessions to organize and run the Show on behalf of the Municipality. This year, however, the municipality assumed the full cost of organizing the show, but this means that any eventual profit will also be for the Municipalit’s account. Chairperson Neveling explained that the Otjiwarongo Show has gone through a number of changes in recent years, which are closely linked to changes in economic activity in the district. It was decided more than ten years ago not to have a cattle exhibition any longer at the Otjiwarongo Show, even though prior to that, it was the biggest cattle exhibition after the Windhoek Show. The Otjiwarongo District used to be renowned for its cattle stud-breeders, but these days there are very few such breeders left in the area. Farming in the district has shifted more towards commercial cattle-breeding, cattle-speculation, game-farming and tourism ventures. The exhibition of stud cattle at the Otjiwarongo Show proved to be no longer viable, and the few remaining stud-breeders now take their cattle to the Grootfontein Show. The Otjiwarongo Show may have lost its prominence as a cattle show, but this has now become a significant date on the calendar for the horse-riding fraternity. The show now hosts a major horse dressage competition with participants travelling from all over the country to come and take part. Furthermore, there are talks of including Arabian horses in the future. Neveling says the dressage competition is so popular that they had to build extra horse stalls this year to accommodate the growing number of entrants. The show offered a wide variety of activities and entertainment for the public, apart from the commercial and industrial exhibits. Neveling says that from the outset the Organizing Committee had decided to include Namibian acts as much as possible. Foreign entertainers, or service-providers, were only approached where Namibians could be found, or only if they would add special value. The only foreign act hired by organizers in the end was the magician, as no local magician could be found. According to Neveling, the local acts are by no means of a poorer standard. On the contrary, in many cases they compare favourably with anything South Africa has to offer. The Namibian entertainers performing at the show included Killa B, 60 Seats, Johnny Rock, Leon Jacobs and The Dream Catcher Karaoke Team. To showcase the artists in the best possible way, the Organizing Committee had a sound stage erected at a cost of N$300ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000, which compares with the best available anywhere. The Snake Park from Swakopmund proved to be another major attraction, which drew a large number of visitors. The most popular attraction for children was probably the merry-go-round owned by a local operator from Walvis Bay. Similarly, a Namibian was also responsible for the large fireworks display at the Show.