It was another thrilling moment reviving what goes around the Olufuko festival with the opening of a photographic exhibition on the festival on Monday.
The exhibition by Namibian professional photographer, Christian Goltz, was part of this year’s opening of the Namibian Heritage week at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) where different cultural activities such as dances and traditional cuisine took place.
Award winning photographer and owner of the Kiss-of-light gallery in Windhoek, Goltz, guided guests through some of his photos telling them what exactly happens during the Olufuko festival. The photographs are also showing how girls are being treated and all the process they normally go through. “I try to see and then make simple photographs of what cannot be explained. It must be beautiful and Namibian,” says Goltz.
The opening was attended by, among others, diplomats. The French ambassador, Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, reflected on the Olufuko festival as a remarkable growth in promoting Namibian cultures for passing on the next generation.
The Olufuko festival is an initiative of the Outapi Town Council. The CEO of the town, Mathew Ananias, acknowledges the importance of culture, saying the loss of culture is equal to the loss of identity. “To promote culture is more important in this era, especially now that the country is faced with challenges on social issues such as passion killings.” He foresees the yearly growth of Olufuko as a good platform to embrace culture. “One can see that the number of girls participating in the event has grown rapidly [over]the past years as we only started with 17 girls and this year we went up to 98 girls,” says Ananias adding that although they are facing many challenges including some churches saying that the event practices satanic, people must understand the culture itself.
Director of the Heritage and Culture Council, Esther Moombola-Goagoses, is appealing to everyone to play a role in celebrating Namibian culture, saying it encourages keeping the culture alive. “We will only be able to protect our heritages if we value them,” she says. This year, the Namibian Heritage Week is being celebrated under the theme, “Intangible Cultural Heritage-Keeping Cultural Alive”. The exhibition ends today.