KEETMANSHOOP – All is set for the first ever-unified Nama Cultural Festival to be held at Keetmanshoop this weekend.
The festival starts today and it will end on Sunday. Spokesperson of the organising committee, Antonio Stuurman told New Era in a telephonic interview that the stage is set, and everything is in place.
He said the response and the excitement from the communities have been massive, and he therefore expects people from all corners to grace the festival as a united people.
“Things are going quite well, people are very excited, everything is ready for Thursday,” he said.
He noted that this festival is unique and the first of its kind in a sense that all Nama sub-clans are uniting to celebrate their culture as one, and this he said goes well for purposes of unity and nation building.
Stuurman further said it is his wish that after the festival, the different communities will be united, and have a sense of identity, which he said is very important.
“We really want the festival to have an impact, we want to have a sense of identity, we are divided due to politics, clans, church affiliation, and so on but at this festival we want to come together as one in the name of culture,” he said.
He also emphasised that the festival is not for the Nama communities only, saying other traditional leaders from various traditional authorities as far as Botswana and within Namibia have been invited to witness and learn more about the Nama culture and its traditions.
Furthermore, he said despite the preparations going well, Stuurman admitted that one of the main challenge to organising the festival is mobilising of financial resources, but he quickly noted that this was expected since it is the first of its kind. He further said the response, especially from the farmers have been great, as the committee received generous donations.
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa and Chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) Seth Kooitjie are set to grace the official event on Friday and are expected to officiate at this special event.
The festival will also see a cultural girl initiation process, cultural exhibitions, traditional dances, panel discussions, and many more.