OSHAKATI, 28 MAY – The 2018 Oshakati Totem Expo started Friday with 15 totem groups (omapata) and 250 exhibitors taking part.
The number of exhibitors has increased from 190 last year. This is the seventh consecutive year that the Oshakati Town Council hosts the expo.
“Next year, I want to see more exhibitors from various sectors all over the country taking part in this expo for the economic growth and development of our country,” Urban and Rural Development Minister, Peya Mushelenga, said whilst officially opening the event on Sunday.
Mushelenga said opportunities for cultural tourism should be explored through the Totem Expo and other, similar shows.
He further urged the exhibitors to grab the opportunity with both hands and use it to market their products and services.
The Oshakati Totem Expo last year attracted over 13 000 visitors from all over Namibia, but Mushelenga said he wants to see more visitors coming to the expo in future. He also said it must be an event that unites Namibians.
“Events of this nature should be treasured,” the minister said.
Also speaking at the official opening was Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, who said the expo shares a lot of cultural teachings through Oshungi (story telling sessions).
The Oshungi for this year’s expo will take place on Monday and Wednesday.
“I urge parents to please allow their children to listen to the Oshungi session on radio or attend the session those days, as vital information will be shared,” said Kashuupulwa.
The 2018 Oshakati Totem Expo is being held under the theme ‘Strengthening ties through culture’ and it ends on Saturday.
The Totem Expo is an annual event that started in 2012. The expo involves commercial activities and a parade of 15 floats showcasing the totems of participating groups’ respective regions down Oshakati’s main road.