Shaningwa says culture curbs tribalism, racism

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John Muyamba

Mukwe-The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, has called on all traditional authorities to organise cultural festivals like the recent Hambukushu Cultural Festival in order to unite their respective communities, irrespective of religious beliefs and political affiliations.

She stressed this will help preserve culture while unity will curb the tendencies of tribalism as well as racist mentalities.

Shaningwa’s speech was read on her behalf by her special adviser, Philip Tjerije, during the festival on Saturday, that coincided with the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Fumu Mbambo’s reign as Hambukushu leader.

The event, which started last week Monday and ended on Saturday with the main event at Mukwe, was held under the theme ‘Pinduthe Thitjo’, which translates into ‘Revive Culture.’

Shaningwa noted it remains vigorously a noble task for each traditional authority to unite their traditional community to work together in the spirit of Harambee to address challenging social issues such as hunger, poverty, unemployment, alcohol abuse and crime.

“It’s a fact that celebrating culture is indisputably an important event for many people in Namibia and many parts of Africa. It is therefore of profound importance  that I’m part of the celebrations of the Hambukushu festival and the 26th anniversary of Fumu Mbambo to the throne.”

Shaningwa said that when the community preserves and celebrates their culture they will always receive visitors in their area, including tourists and investors who will bring development to create employment opportunities.

“As government, provision is made under the Traditional Authorities Act that each traditional authority should uphold, promote, protect and preserve the culture, language and traditions of that traditional community. Preserve and maintain the cultural size, works of art and literary works of that traditional community and perform traditional ceremonies and functions held within the traditional community,” she said.

“I am happy that part of the culture of the Hambukushu traditional community is to produce food through subsistence farming to provide for their families, thus I urge our traditional leaders to take a lead by encouraging their traditional community to work hard in the field of agriculture to produce more food that can be supplied to other regions.”

Shaningwa reminded that the government has declared war against poverty but that the war against poverty can only be achieved if the majority of people embrace one another as Namibians and work together as a team.

“At the same time we discourage traditional authorities from the tendency of creating factions among their communities that they lead, resulting in disputes causing government to spend more money when attending to address the situation. At the same time there are those that are adamant to use a platform like this one to enhance the tribal and political agenda.”

“However, I am pleased to be informed that the Hambukushu Cultural Festival is solely an event that brings communities together and celebrates their culture in style by preserving a cultural heritage for future generations,” she said.

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