Outapi-based businessman Peter Nambele and his company Pena Trading pledged a massive N$2 million towards this year’s Olufuko Expo at a gala dinner on Friday night that saw a total of N$3.3 million raised.
Other businesspeople who pledged high amounts include Veiko Haimbodi, who pledged N$250 000, Tona Amadhila, who pledged N$150 000, while a Chinese-owned company, Times Square, and another locally owned company, Nicodemus Architectural Design, pledged N$100 000 and N$85 000, respectively.
The event, which was graced by former president Sam Nujoma, also saw a number of well-known businesspeople, political personalities, traditional leaders and institutions pledging and donating money.
The Ombalantu Traditional Authority Chief Oswin Mukulu pledged one head of cattle. At the event, a cake designed in a form of traditional artifacts was also auctioned.
The owner of Kambwa Trading, David Sheehama, who was the highest bidder, bought the cake for N$30 000 for the king of the Ongandjera.
Nujoma, who is the patron of Olufuko, said in the absence of culture, the country would be likened to a tree without roots. He thus called upon the Olufuko preparatory committee to continue improving on traditional knowledge by conducting more research and collecting traditional materials to be displayed at the Olufuko Centre.
“We used to make these materials even before colonialism. We used to make shoes, hoes and jewelry, among others. Traditional clothing and implements should be preserved for future generations,” said Nujoma.
Governor of Omusati Region Erginus Endjala, who also spoke during the event, said Olufuko has over the years been misrepresented and labeled as an uncivilised and pagan event.
“We’ll not shy away from associating ourselves with Olufuko. Negativity over the event came about because of wrong perceptions, but Olufuko is here to stay. If you think carefully, is it culture or religion that comes first? Of course culture comes first. Culture shapes your identity,” said Endjala.
Uukwambi Chief Herman Ndilimani Iipumbu said Olufuko is one of the most significant events on the annual calender and is aimed at preserving indigenous culture.
“Our culture was on the verge of being exterminated by western cultures that are not necessarily relevant to our culture. I’m glad that there is continuous growth in the number of Olufuko participants,” said Iipumbu.