Instilling culture mitigates teen pregnancies

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John Muyamba

Mukwe-The Ukwangali Traditional Authority leader, Chief Hompa Eugene Siwombe, says reviving culture in societies can bring about change in people’s behaviour, as teenagers will have a sense of discipline and respect, which will curb teenage pregnancy especially in the two Kavango regions.

Kavango East and Kavango West are statistically known for high teenage pregnancy.
“Culture entails a lot of things not just cultural dance and dress code. As a young person it teaches you respect, how to behave, teaches you right and wrong, as well as to help elders, and it distances people from crime and other social ills,” said Hompa Siwombe who was also recently appointed as chairperson of traditional leaders in the two Kavango regions, a position previously held by the Mbunza traditional leader Alfons Kaundu.

Siwombe made the observations in his speech he delivered at the Hambukushu Cultural Festival that was held last Saturday, which coincided with the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Fumu Mbambo’s reign as the leader of the Hambukushu tribe.

“I am happy that the Hambukushu tribe organised this event and all other Kavango tribes will also start hosting such cultural events – if that is achieved you will see that it will even decrease the high teenage pregnancy that we experience in the Kavango regions,” he said.

“It will surely change the attitude of our teenagers if culture is instilled in them – it will bring about discipline. Without discipline one can’t achieve anything. You won’t even plough your field, teenagers will just be drinking alcohol because they have no discipline. Our African culture and tradition bring about discipline amongst people in the society, community,” he said.

Siwombe added that culture should not be forgotten nor abolished – “we don’t need to forget our culture to be successful business people or to be on top.”

Siwombe said that people should love and care for their leaders. “As traditional leaders in Kavango we want you as our subjects to buy us cars, not the government – if everyone should just pay a N$10 we will afford even a Toyota D4D and the money that government is supposed to use to get us cars they can divert to getting us tractors that we can use in the communities to plough mahangu fields, because traditionally we are farmers, and that farming culture should be maintained.”

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