Nama festival not promoting political agenda: Tiboth

26 Feb 2018 11:20am
REHOBOTH, 26 FEB (NAMPA) – The /Hai-/Khaua Junior Council said the Nama Cultural Festival is not driven to promote any political agenda, but is aimed at unifying the Namibian nation, in particular the Nama people.
Junior Councillor of the /Hai-/Khaua Christian Thomas Tiboth, who on behalf of the Nama youth group, explained in a statement here Sunday that during a meeting held at Berseba on Saturday, they learnt with “great disappointment and dismay” that the upcoming festival is regarded by individuals from certain political parties as a hidden, political campaign driven by tribalism.
The /Hai-/Khaua Junior Council, he stressed failed to understand why it has become “a question and a headache” for other politically affiliated individuals and political parties.
Tiboth said the critics were supposed to be in support of “this historical event”, as granted to other cultural events such as the Olufuko Festival, the Red Flag Day and Gaob Fees (Festival).
“Could it be that the Nama people are still under oppression in independent, democratic Namibia, where all citizens have the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion, including traditional rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Namibia,” the /Hai-/Khaua Junior Councillor asked.
He noted the group maintained that the festival was long overdue, “because the Nama culture suffered extremely under the colonial regimes, to the extent that it is literally on the brink of extinction”.
The youth group came up with the idea to host the first ever Nama Cultural Festival in recent memory slated for 24-27 May in Keetmanshoop this year.
That Festival is the offspring of the Nama Festival that took place in Botswana, Lokgwabe in August 2017, in which Namas in southern Africa, particularly from Namibia, Botswana and South Africa participated.
“Therefore, to us the Nama speaking community of Namibia, it is very important to organise ourselves in terms of the Traditional Authority’s Act that allows us to promote cultural and traditional values of the Nama People for our wellbeing and preservation of our extinct traditions and culture,” he added.