Fumu Mbambo calls for cultural revival

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John Muyamba

Mukwe-The traditional Hambukushu leader, His Royal Highness Fumu Erwin Munika Mbambo, has appealed for the revival and preservation of cultural norms to curb moral erosion.

“Culture entails a lot of things. As far as I know we have one tribe in Namibia that we call the Ovahimba and one tribe in Kenya we call the Masai there is no high HIV prevalence. Why? Because they preserve their culture,” Fumu Mbambo said during the first-ever weeklong Hambukushu Cultural Festival in independent Namibia, which ended on Saturday with the main event at Mukwe in Mukwe Constituency.

The cultural festival coincided with the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Fumu Mbambo’s reign as Hambukushu leader. The event, which started last week Monday, was held under the theme ‘Pinduthe Thitjo’, which translates into ‘Revive Culture’.

Fumu Mbambo urged those in attendance to start instilling the seed of cultural preservation in their communities.

“When I visited several parts of my jurisdiction to address my people, [and] I spoke about initiation of girls and traditional dressing I was laughed off. At least at an event like this we could have all dressed traditionally, like how I am dressed,” the Fumu said, pointing at his traditional garments.

The Fumu said a cultural revival above all requires self-respect and involves many things, from how people dress and how they talk to how they eat and their other social engagements.

“We should also look at what we are doing in terms of behaviour and attitude and by that ask yourself if it’s right or wrong, as well as ask yourself how are people in your society seeing your actions.”

Namibians from all walks of life arrived in big numbers to witness the weeklong festival.
The Hambukushu Cultural Festival attracted not only the Hambukushu community from Kavango East, but also some from Zambezi Region and elsewhere, including those in other countries, like Botswana, southern Angola, as well as Namibians from different walks of life who went to witness the event.

The festival started on Monday with various Hambukushu cultural groups showcasing their cultural attire, dances and other cultural activities and ended with the main event on Saturday, where the speakers included Hompa Eugene Siwombe of the Ukwangali of Kavango East, the chairperson of the Kavango traditional leaders, and Professor Joseph Diescho who spoke on the history of the Hambukushu people.

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