The //Kharas Regional Governor Lucia Basson has urged the Nama community to embrace and celebrate their culture with pride wherever they are
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the #Nu#Goaes Festival last week on Thursday at the J. Stephanus Stadium, she expressed her disappointment in the way the Nama community especially in Keetmanshoop have long forgotten their heritage and culture.
Basson, neatly dressed in a traditional Nama dress, said most of what made the Nama people unique was lost to future generations because “it’s not taught either in schools or homes”.
She explained that heritage and roots have everything to do with individuals no matter where they live as it helps to separate them from others – it defines them and ultimately enriches their lives.
She said the big problem with the Nama community of Keetmanshoop is that they have forgotten their tribal heritage and culture.
“We do not speak our language anymore, our youngsters cannot communicate in their own language,” said Basson.
Basson said the Nama community no longer wore their traditional attire except for the few holidays in a year, and they don’t eat their traditional food and do not practise important traditional rituals like at weddings, as they did before.
She urged the Nama community to emulate the example of other tribes such as the Ovaherero and Aawambo that are proud to show their culture without feeling any shame irrespective of their status in society.
“It’s imperative that you embrace your heritage for no other reason than to fully embrace yourself,” she further urged the Nama community that attended the event.
Basson highlighted the importance of culture saying that without culture there is nothing to hold together a community, a religion or a country, adding that “heritage and culture both separate and unite us and thus each individual must embrace who they are and where they live”.
She concluded by encouraging all Nama youngsters to regain their pride in that which makes them unique, as well as embrace their roots.
The three-day festival was the first of its kind organised by the Keetmanshoop Municipality.