Nujoma encourages perseverance of cultural heritage

28 Aug 2016 13:40pm
OUTAPI, 28 AUG (NAMPA) – Plans are well underway for the construction of a centre for the Olufuko Festival, with the master plan already being completed and fundraising efforts ongoing.
There are currently no permanent structures at the venue where the Olufuko Festival is held annually. Organisers erect tents and other temporary structures during the festival.
Former President Sam Nujoma revealed these plans in a speech read on his behalf during the opening of the fifth Olufuko Festival here on Saturday.
He said a centre should be built in order to strengthen the ties that will make the festival relevant for current and future generations.
Olufuko is an Oshiwambo term for the initiation of girls between the ages of 15 and 20 into adulthood. They are amongst others taught how to pound mahangu and prepare traditional beverages.
Nujoma said the centre will not only help with the promotion and development of arts and culture, but will also create jobs and generate income.
“We have a rich cultural heritage built over a long period of time and we must therefore fight against the erosion of traditions, values and norms. Thus, our rich cultures have to be promoted and preserved as it defines us as people within the global community,” he said.
The former president also recommended that a museum be built within the envisaged Olufuko centre, which will collect and conserve artifacts and other cultural objects of historical importance and make them available for public viewing through exhibitions.
“Some of our cultural values and beliefs seem to be disappearing owing to various factors which include urbanisation, globalisation and acculturation, hence the need to preserve and promote our heritage has become more important in the face of the mentioned factors.”
With regards to the Olufuko Festival, Nujoma said it is a good initiative that should be used as a platform to de-stigmatise the initiation, which has previously been referred to as being a pagan practice.