REHOBOTH, 20 APR – The organisers of the first-ever Annual Nama Cultural Festival want to stage a unifying festival for the entire Nama community across southern Africa.
The festival which will celebrate Nama traditional practices takes place from 24 to 27 April at the Westdene Stadium in Keetmanshoop.
The spokesperson of the organising committee, Antonio Stuurman told Nampa on Thursday in light of the “shared history and destiny” of the Nama community in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, they wish to stage a unifying festival.
“This festival essentially represents the renewal of cooperation and partnership between the relations of the Nama community in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana,” he said.
The festival, the first of its kind in recent memory, aims to unite all sub-tribes of the Nama under one umbrella and will be held under the theme “Namakhoëda ge” (We are Nama people).
Activities lined up for the event include a 50-horse parade with a brass band incuding representatives of all 12 sub-tribes of the Nama in their traditional attire; football; a ‘langarm’ dance; performance of poetry, arts and dramas; a panel discussion and music show.
A cultural village will also be set up where people will showcase how traditional medicine is mixed, while young girls will be taught to make and wear a doek and there will be demonstrations of how massages were done.
Possibly the highlight on the programe is a demonastration of the Kharu-#nûis – a ceremony were a young girl is prepared for womanhood and sits in a dark room of a reed house for five days until her menstrual cycle ends.
Some of the invited guests include United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Representative to Namibia, Jean-Pierre Ilboudo; Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Botswana (USB), Professor Andy Chebanne and Head of Department and Director at the USB’s San Research Centre, Professor Maitseo Bolaane.
The Nama sub-tribes are the |Hôa|aran; |Hai|khauan; |Khowesen; !Aman; Kai||khaun; Kharo!oan; ||Haboben; #Aonîn; !Gami#nûn; !Khar’khoen; ||Khau|gôan; Kailkhauan and Kharo!oan.