Nama Cultural Festival a dream come true for some

28 May 2018 15:50pm
By Suzith Tjitaura
KEETMANSHOOP, 28 MAY (NAMPA) – Feedback on the inaugural Nama Cultural Festival held at Keetmanshoop over the weekend has been overwhelmingly positive.
The festival started Thursday and ended Sunday and amongst others included panel discussions; a horse parade with a brass band and representatives of all 12 sub-tribes of the Nama in their traditional attire; a ‘langarm’ dance; performances of poetry, arts and dramas and a music show.
Cornelius Cloete of the !Aman clan at Bethanie told Nampa in an interview Sunday the festival was a dream come true as they had always hoped for an event where all the Nama clans could unite.
“We were eager to be here, we travelled from far just to be here, engage with each other and enjoy the cultural activities,” Cloete said.
Yasar Ohle, who came all the way from Germany, said he found the festival very exciting.
“The people were so accommodating. I came to see their culture, food and so on and it has been an honour to be invited to this festival,” he said.
Ohle was invited by Chief of the Kai-||Khaun Nama clan, Petrus Kooper, when he attended talks on the 1904-1908 genocide in Germany at the beginning of April.
Gaob (King) Paul Swartbooi of South Africa’s Bondelswarts Nama Traditional Authority said the festival met his expectations and was informative.
“It was a big thing for me, it was very educative because of the panel discussions and the dramas staged that showed us how things are done in the Nama culture,” he said.
He however called on the Nama Cultural Festival organising committee to allocate more time to talks on culture and the history of the community.
Swartbooi said this would help the Nama people to learn more about their culture and where they come from.
“It would also be nice if the organisers could plan a tour of historical places in the town for those coming to the festival,” he said when asked how he thinks organisers could improve on the festival.
Earlier, Nichodimas Cooper from Botswana said it was a historical event for the Nama people.
He travelled over 1 200 kilometres to Keetmanshoop.
Cooper said Nama people in Botswana have hoped for a festival that would unite all Namas for years, and now it was finally happening. He also called it “a dream come true”.