Heritage Week to unite community

Beacon of hope

13 September 2020 | Events

Jessica le Grange; COSDEF; “We need to work together to create this new normal.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

Every year, a week on the calendar is dedicated to celebrating Namibia’s heritage.

This year’s event will be held under the theme “Ombazu Ndjiritutumuna”, which means “Building Cultural Resilience - The New Normal” in Otjiherero.

The 2020 Namibian Heritage Week, which is organised by several institutions as a collaborative effort, takes place from 21 to 27 September 2020.

Government institutions, organisations and individuals from all 14 regions usually participate in the celebrations.

Several organisations from the region are working together to present the 2020 edition, which is driven by the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) and funded by the National Arts Council of Namibia (NACN).

These include the Scientific Society Swakopmund in collaboration with Swakopmund Municipality, the COSDEF Arts and Crafts Centre, the directorate of National Heritage and Culture Programs (NHCP), the ministry of education, arts and culture’s Erongo regional office and the ministry of information communication and technology (MICT) Erongo regional office.

COSDEF Arts and Crafts Centre’s marketing coordinator, Jessica le Grange, said that the event’s focus is to reignite unity and solidarity within the community.

“We need to work together to create this new normal and involve small businesses so that more exposure is brought to us all in a time where our target market is shifting from tourism to the local market. We must build resilience through working and supporting local people,” she said.

Le Grange added that the aim is not only to target the youth, but all ages in a bid to bring a message of hope for the community.

“It is an opportunity for Namibians to showcase our heritage. The week encourages all Namibians to celebrate and commit themselves to protecting our wonderful natural and cultural resources.”

She said that the organising team’s role is to ensure the week is a success by providing logistical and marketing support to organisations and individuals who host or participate in events.

“Everyone is welcome to ‘follow the Namibian beat’ as the theme states.”

Exhibition

The Scientific Society Swakopmund and the Swakopmund Museum are already in the process of preparing the “Beacon of Hope” exhibition for the Heritage Week, which will draw a comparison between the coronavirus and Spanish influenza pandemics.

“It will feature motivational stories from the local community, promoting solidarity and hope among Swakopmunders during the coronavirus pandemic,” Le Grange said.

The exhibition is part of the Namibian Heritage Week celebrations that begin on 21 September. The assistant curator of the Swakopmund Museum, Nadine Phiri, will conduct a tour of the exhibition at 10:00 on 23 September.

Due to restrictions on public gatherings, registration for the tour is required and the museum’s entrance fees will apply.

Several workshops, which will be open to people of all ages, will also be conducted during the week.

The workshops are free of charge but registration is essential. However, all the workshops and events will also be available online.

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