A nation without roots cannot cultivate a culture: Ekandjo

13 Aug 2013 13:10
WINDHOEK, 13 AUG (NAMPA) - Culture gives us a sense of pride and steady platform on which to build the future, the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture Jerry Ekandjo said on Tuesday.
“A nation without roots cannot cultivate a culture, a nation without pride has no self-esteem, and a nation without a future has no direction,” said Ekandjo.
He was speaking during the opening ceremony of the Polytechnic of Namibia’s 18th Cultural Festival, under the theme 'Sada !Gao !Gaob, Sada #Nisasib, Sada !Goaxa //aeb', which, translated from the Nama language, means “Our roots, Our Pride, Our Future”.
Ekandjo said the festival will provide students a valuable opportunity to experience and express traditional and contemporary culture, and at the same time sending the message that managing culture and embracing its diversity are important vehicles to harmonious and peaceful existence.
Ekandjo noted that his ministry has a fairly broad interrelated mandate, and the cultural aspects are governed by the Cultural Policy established in 2001 in line with the guidelines of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with the core philosophy being that everybody is entitled to their culture as long it does not impinge on the rights of other cultures.
“Our primary duty is to encourage and improve mutual understanding, respect and tolerance in order to achieve national unity,” he explained.
On his part, Tjama Tjivikua, the rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, said the festival is an important platform to share experiences and more importantly to learn from one another, to evolve out of cultural shells, to cross mental barriers, overcome stigma, make new friends and become better citizens.
He said that for the past 18 years, the Cultural Festival had positioned the Polytechnic and its constituencies as central to advancing and promoting cultural diversity as well as celebrating the proud cultural heritage which makes up this wonderful diverse country.
According to Tjivikua, an important aspect of the annual Cultural Festival is to ensure that it translates into a form of expression of the students, reflecting their aspirations, desires and their quest for success.
The rector added that the Polytechnic is currently in the middle of a very significant, interesting and historical moment - transforming into the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
“The Cultural Festival can also serve as a transformative ingredient in the wider context of our institution. I say this because we are celebrating our cultural diversity. We as the Polytechnic community should find the common purpose that binds us, and in so doing embrace the transformation of our institution and of self,” he said.
Tjivikua emphasised on global competitiveness as a common goal, saying competitiveness is driven by individuals, and “if we don't have our house in order, how can we expect the nation to be in order?”
“Let us work together to improve ourselves and our beloved country and thereby improve our state of being. We must always aim higher and do much more to reach higher levels of performance and of living,” he urged.
Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony, the Polytechnic of Namibia received N.dollars 60 000 from the First National Bank (FNB) Namibia towards this year's festival activities.
The festival started on Monday with a parade along Independence Avenue, and is ending on Friday with a Mr & Miss Polytechnic beauty pageant which will take place at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino.
Various activities, including cultural and live music performances are taking place between Monday and Friday at the main campus in the capital.