Indigenous knowledge vital to culture preservation: Tweya

12 Jun 2015 15:00pm
MBUNZA, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya has underscored the importance of indigenous knowledge, saying it is important for the preservation of culture.
Speaking during the official premier of a cultural documentary, ‘Mbunza of Kavango’ at the Mbunza Living Museum on Thursday, Tweya indicated that indigenous knowledge is an emerging area of study that focuses on ways of knowing, seeing, and thinking that are passed down orally from generation to generation.
The museum is situated at Nakazaza village, some 10 kilometres west of Rundu in the Kavango West Region.
Tweya stressed that these ways of knowing are important, especially in the era of globalisation, a time in which indigenous knowledge has value not only for the culture in which it develops, but also for scientists and planners seeking solutions to community problems.
The documentary was produced by the Namibia Film Commission and filmed in the Mbunza Traditional Authority area. It depicts the determination of a young man and his community to preserve their cultural heritage for future generations.
The about 40-minute film amongst others explores the community’s respect for local culture and wisdom.
According to the ICT minister, Namibia’s citizens need to tell their local stories as according to him, a nation that cannot tell its own stories will have others tell it to them which he said is a scary prospect.
“Deliberate efforts must be made to make resources available to local film makers, film bodies, broadcasters and entrepreneurs to empower them to provide local content to the nation,” said the minister.
He also challenged the country’s youth to spend time with their elders and learn from them.
“We do not want a situation where no one knows anything about our roots just because we chose to be ignorant. Value their teaching while they are still alive and pass their knowledge on to your children and grandchildren. In that way, our history, culture, norms, and values will never be lost,” Tweya stressed.
The minister pointed out that Government is aware that a lack of funding for local film production is one of the major challenges to local film makers, and assured them that Government through the Namibia Film Commission will continue to lobby for more resources in order to develop the country’s film industry.
According to him, the Mbunza community could make a living through the sale of the DVDs but the major achievement is that the history of the Mbunza has been told for the benefit of the nation.
The premier of ‘Mbunza of Kavango’ was witnessed by the leader of the Mbunza Traditional Authority, Chief Alfons Kaundu and several constituency councillors.