With nearly two months to go before the hosting of the iconic Omagongo festival, Chief of the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority, Shikongo Taapopi, who is this year’s host, says he is ready.
The event, to be held on May 26, will be preceded by gala dinners on April 14 in Windhoek and on May 3 at the chief’s palace.
Chief Taapopi was speaking at a preparatory meeting held at his traditional palace last Friday.
The Uukwambi Traditional Authority hosted last year’s event.
The palace is currently undergoing renovations, but the chief has assured that it will be ready for the festival.
Apart from the renovations, 1,626 litres of the main drink for the day “omagongo” has already been secured.
“Omagongo” is marula juice.
However, the chairperson of the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority urged women to continue bringing omagongo in order to cater for the people who will attend the event.
The king urged his subjects to carry out the tasks they have been entrusted with due diligence.
“If we do not clean the palace, we will be shamed when the visitors arrive,” said Taapopi.
He made the call after he was briefed that some districts were not forthcoming to execute their duties at the palace.
Taapopi urged his subjects, specifically women, to grace the festival with traditional attire.
“Omagongo is not just an occasion where people drink behind doors, it has become a national event,” he
Chairperson of the Uukwaluudhi Traditional Authority, Nekongo Shomeya, also echoed the chief’s sentiments.
Shomeya urged those involved in traditional arts to bring their work to the palace so that they can be exhibited during the festival.
Tsandi Constituency Councillor Junias Amunkete, who spoke briefly at the event, said the festival should remind the people of their cultural heritage.
He urged the upholding of culture and compared a person without a culture to a traveller without a destination.
“Throwing away your culture belittles one’s own being,” stressed the constituency councillor.
A preparatory committee has been established and is headed by the first councillor of Tsandi, Leevi Katoma, and the former information minister, Joel Kaapanda.
Among the dignitaries who confirmed attendance is the Founding Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, and various ministers.
President Hage Geingob will delegate a representative.
Caption (Uukwaluudhi first family jpg):