Geingob says culture should unite the nation

28 Apr 2019 13:40pm
BERSEBA, 28 APR (NAMPA) – Cultural values are the anchor that keeps the Namibian ship steady in rough seas and they are the foundations upon which the Namibian house is built, President Hage Geingob has said.
The Head of State said this in a speech delivered on his behalf at the eighth annual /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority festival here on Saturday.
“No society is able to pursue shared progress and development without a strong cultural framework. A cultural framework is a prerequisite for the formation of value systems and the identification of priorities for social progress,” noted Geingob.
He said when the morals and beliefs of the Namibian people were shaken, when their traditions were broken and when they were divided through Bantustans, they fought back against this unwelcome interference, firstly through pockets of resistance led by luminaries such as Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi, Samuel Maharero, Mandume ya Ndemufayo, Nyangana WaMukuwe, and others.
“These cultural icons would later provide the inspiration for the liberation fighters of the 1960s, who under a full mandate to unite all our people, cultivated a spirit of nationalism within the Namibian people, in order to fight the common enemy as united people,” the president remarked.
He added that due to the united front provided by the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, who emerged from different cultures and different backgrounds from all over the country, the inhabitants of Namibia now enjoy the fruits of independence and can once again celebrate the splendour of their respective traditions and cultures.
Geingob further said the celebration of cultural festivals should be viewed as platforms that provide the cross fertilisation of cultures and social affiliation amongst different groups within Namibia, irrespective of ethnicity, race or region.
He said people should always celebrate and be proud of their culture, stressing that they should guard culture against those elements who aim to divide the nation through the propagation of cultural tribalism.
Geingob went on to say that culture should be the mortar that binds the nation and not the fire that divides it.
He emphasised that the economic development and maintenance of peace in Namibia is dependent on a robust social network infrastructure, coupled with high trust between the people and the government vertically and high trust between the respective cultural groups horizontally.
“It is therefore important that we refrain from politicising ethnicity, which causes people to identify themselves by their ethnic groups instead of seeing themselves as part of the broader, culturally diverse, Namibian house.”