With the increasing number of tourists in the country, Oshikuku Town Council is engaged in the construction of a cultural heritage centre to preserve local cultures and attract tourists.
The N$5.3 million Oshikuku Cultural Heritage Centre is a council initiative to preserve and uphold the traditional norms and cultural practises of the Uukwambi and traditional boundaries within the ambit of the town.
So far phase one of the project, which includes the fencing off of the area, has already been completed. The cultural heritage centre will eventually host a traditional homestead, conference exhibition, bungalows, a barbeque area, amphitheatre, swimming pool and a campsite among others.
Finances to service the area have already been secured and Oshikuku Council is currently in the process of sourcing funds to commence with the construction of the envisaged heritage centre.
“Phase one is done. There is an engineering company that is busy with the service design, but at the moment we are engaging a number of companies to assist with the construction of the heritage centre,” public relations and local economic development officer Gerhard Sam said.
Sam said the municipality wants Oshikuku to become a place for tourists to visit and invest in the local economy. In addition, the public relations officer said council is providing tourists with an opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, traditional dances, and also to acquire traditional handcrafted products.
To date, Oshikuku has been a drive-through for tourists destined for more popular attractions in other areas in the Omusati and Kunene regions. Furthermore, the town council wants locals and visitors to learn about the rich cultural heritage of the Uukwambi. “We want the place to be functional. We will have people here showing visitors what is done at the kitchen area, the fireplace, and at all other symbolic places within the Uukwambi traditional homestead,” Sam remarked.
Moreover, the place will also be linked to the celebrated iconic eighteenth King of the Uukwambi, Iipumbu ya Tshilongo, whose grave is within the town’s boundaries.
“We will have people taken there so that they are told the untold stories of the iconic leader,” said Sam.