First-ever Kavango cultural village almost completed

13 Jun 2013 07:30
KAPAKO, 13 JUN (NAMPA) - Plans to establish a cultural village at the site of a historical tree at Kapako in order to boost tourist numbers in the area will soon be realised, as construction of the infrastructure is almost complete.
The Acacia Eriolab thorn tree, known in Rukavango as 'Munyondo gwaKapande', is about 20 times thicker than a normal thorn tree.
It is situated some 30 kilometres west of Rundu in the Kavango Region?s Kapako Constituency.
Popular belief has it that a powerful drum-beater who was known locally as 'Munyondo gwaKapande' climbed into the tree while beating his drum, and disappeared.
It is believed that the sound of the drum is often heard coming from the tree in March during the harvesting season, which is also the month when he disappeared into the tree.
A curator within the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture in the Kavango Region, Helvy Mbwalala told Nampa on Thursday construction of structures at the envisioned cultural village is almost completed.
Mbwalala said the construction of six display huts which was delayed due to lack of funds has been completed, with the only thing left to do now being research on what kind of items will be displayed there.
The first and second phase of the project at the historical site which have both been completed included water and electricity infrastructure, a fence, display huts, septic tanks, performance area, a story-telling area, as well as a reception area.
The third phase of the project, which will include a restaurant and accommodation establishments, are next in line depending on availability of funds.
Once the cultural village becomes a reality, the tree will become the site where its story will be told to visitors, which will also be a way to preserve the area's rich oral history.
Early last year, over N.dollars 1 million was availed from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Fund for the development of the envisioned cultural village.
The architectural design of the cultural village at the historical site has already been approved by the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture.
Once completed, the 'Munyondo gwaKapande' cultural village will also house small and medium enterprise (SME) stalls, a theatre, different Kavango households, and a parking lot.
The cultural village will also harvest local natural resources for selling to the general public and tourists.
The cultural village will then be registered as a business entity.
None of the Kavango Region's various historical sites are recognised by the National Heritage Council of Namibia.
Some local historians have thus advocated that it is high time that the region's oral history is documented and recognised.