Okombahe – There was pomp and excitement last Saturday when several hundred people attended the #Nu-Khoe (Damara) Annual Cultural Festival, also known as the Gaobfess.
Nature smiled on Gaobfess that took place at the eastern central settlement of Okombahe in the Erongo Region under a soft drizzle from an overcast sky.
With vendors selling their wares, companies putting up banners and facilities and guests arriving, some in donkey carts, to be part of the jubilee, the atmosphere was charged for an exciting celebration.
Popular traditional food like braaied meat and roasted sheep heads were tastefully displayed on several barbecue stands.
The festival featured traditional performances, musical performances, dozens of arts and crafts vendors, dancers, information booths, a drum ensemble for the kids and other activities.
Dressed in green, white and blue and some in traditional attire such as Oaxae Rokhoes, !oa- Taras Rokhoes, !game-Taras Rokhoes, and !khae-om #nuis Rokhoes performed the rain song.
Damara Chief Justus //Garoeb called on the Damara people to unite and work together to build the ‘Namibian House.’
//Garoeb also urged his subjects to support President Hage Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP).
“Let us support the government’s aim to eradicate poverty and we as Damara people can play a very important role in building this house. A united Damara people can benefit the whole nation better than a divided people through our collective knowledge and experience,” he said.
//Garoëb, who is the former president of the UDF, also used the opportunity to express his disappointment to those chiefs who boycotted the event, urging them to guard against divisive tendencies that are allegedly being promoted by elements within communities.
According to the Damara Chief’s Council secretary general Abner Xoagub, 34 Damara clans fall under the Damara Chief’s Council and only 25 of those clans attended the event.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Land Reform Benardus Swartbooi, Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Christina Hoebes, Governor of the Erongo Region Cleophas Mutjavikua, Special Advisor to the Kunene Governor John Khamuseb and Director of Education in the //Karas Region, /Awebahe Johannes //Hoeseb, among others.