Songs of the Shaman

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Possibly the biggest San arts and crafts exhibition will be held in Omaheke on May 23, commemorating Africa Day.

By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

On Saturday the Omaheke region will be host to about 150 mostly San women from different corners in Namibia and the Basarwa in Botswana, as a “first-of-its-kind” event to showcase the works of the oldest peoples in the southern African region.

The purpose of the event, said Isabella !Hurihe //Hauses, founder and managing director of Godisha Events Management, is to give back a “sense of pride, belonging and association” to the San people.

“The Millennium Development Goals clearly define human upliftment as one of the key areas of development and for a long time the San peoples – the original inhabitants of southern Africa were the most marginalised peoples in Africa,” she said.

“The most unique aspect of the San is their languages and its clicks – varying from one clan to another, only found in the Khoisan communities. The San people are one of the most indigenous and previously excluded groups in the world, however, (they) have of late received the much desired attention to better their living standards.”

She said in as much as different organisations working with the San are applauded for their efforts, “we still have a long way to go to transform the lifestyles of the San people”.

The idea came to //Hauses when she saw what a hit the San women from the Omaheke region were with their presence at this year’s International Women’s Day held in Windhoek in March.

As a result of “popular demand”, the Africa Day event was conceived to honour these women.

“Also, it is worth to note that the aim is to concert efforts in response to the call from Government to help these communities attain a reputable and dignified status in contribution to the set objectives of Vision 2030,” said //Hauses.

“The life for the San is rather tainted by absolute poverty, with dependence on other ethnic groups for support,” Godisha said.

The San, the organisation said, today has typically lost their culture and heritage, and a “sense of identity”, and San communities are ravaged by alcohol addiction and abuse, and domestic abuse.

More importantly, the organisation said, the San is excluded from pertinent decision-making activities.

“We hope this event will grow to become an annual event,” said //Hauses hopefully.

Groups from the Hai //om in the Tsumkwe area, and from the Omaheke region the N??????’??

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