Kavango culture celebrated

A cultural group organised and recently hosted the first ever Kavango Cultural festival in the Erongo region.

14 July 2019 | Cultural

Petrus Tjandja; Mpo Zetu; “This festival must serve as an eye opener to the ones who left home long ago…”

Kuisebmond • Otis Finck

The first ever Kavango Cultural Festival hosted in the Erongo region attracted a large crowd.

The event catered for a wide variety of cultural dance and music performances by groups from as far afield as Rundu, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.

There was also a traditional porridge and milk eating competition with a huge variety of traditional cooked and dried food on sale.

Speaking at the opening of the festival which took place at the Kuisebmond community hall, Mpo Zetu chairperson Petrus Tjandja, called on all Kavangos to continue building unity, understanding and peace.

“Let us fully stand by our respective traditional leaders and give them the moral, spiritual and social support they require from us. Let us build our Kavango together. This festival must serve as an eye opener to the ones who left home long ago. They must return to set up much needed infrastructure. We aim to move forward.”

Tjandja further said that culture is a strong part of people's lives and influences their views and values. “We are Kavangos from the mighty river that has and continues to sustain our livelihood. We have a common culture of fishing, cultivating our land, reeling our livestock and finding pleasure in our dances guided by the ‘Ngoma’ drums.”

He said that tradition reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic and the value of being selfless. “It provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life!”

He also stressed the importance of preserving cultural norms.

“Customs are important in building strong family relationships between generations. They are our stories, beliefs, rituals and the way of life that are passed from one generation to the next. It allows us to be part of the special things our family does and helps us have that sense of belonging.”

Mpo Zetu was established with the sole purpose of rallying Kavangos in the Erongo region to remember their heritage and motivate them to return home to develop their villages, houses and lands.

The group serves the purpose of creating awareness on important issues amongst the five Kavango tribes from the Hompas and Fumus and encourages them to pay their land taxes.

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