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Nangolo: Disrespect for culture is a curse

2022-09-30  Victoria Kaapanda

Nangolo: Disrespect for culture is a curse

OMUTHIYA – The leader of the Ondonga traditional authority Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo says many young people are living under a curse because parents fail to explain the importance of their culture and heritage to them.

Nangolo made these remarks at the celebration of World Tourism Day held in Omuthiya, Oshikoto region on Tuesday.

“Our children don’t respect and value culture and heritage. These are the commodities that bring changes in their lives,” he said.

He added that these are the reasons why young people are mysteriously losing jobs, sometimes without warning, because bad luck is following them.

“Let us respect and strengthen our culture and heritage through practices,” he urged.

Deputy minister of tourism Heather Sibungo also expressed disappointment as she could not see young people at the occasion, despite a high unemployment rate among the youth.

“This is the right platform to create jobs. They should use such opportunities to get ideas on how to start businesses in order to address unemployment,” she emphasised. She stated that Namibia is a global leader in the process of facilitating public-private sector tourism partnerships with communities who have established successful communal conservancies. “I call upon the private sector to invest more in our conservancies and community-based tourism enterprises, develop and promote cultural and heritage tourism by including these people-centered services and products in their travel itineraries, create new innovative products to increase value for money and guest experiences, and by so doing enlarge the national product offering of Destination Namibia,” said Sibungo.

The World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations (UNWTO) has been celebrating World Tourism Day on 27 September since 1980, and Namibia marked the occasion at the developing town of Omuthiya, north of Oshivelo.

The UNWTO is celebrating the day under the theme ‘Rethinking tourism’, but Namibia is celebrating it under the theme, ‘Promoting Heritage, Cultural Experience to Harness Sustainable Tourism’.

According to the ministry of tourism’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, the day is aimed at creating awareness about the importance of sustainable and heritage tourism, noting that as tourism continues to grow, it may have adverse effects on the environment. 

“The conference seeks to encourage the tourism sector to be mindful of those factors which may affect our environment in a negative way,” he observed.

The celebration also seeks to identify and unpack the potential of tourism in the region, particularly cultural and heritage tourism. 

The deputy executive director in the ministry of environment, forestry and tourism Seimy Shidute said Omuthiya is mostly a transit town for people going elsewhere. He, therefore, challenged the residents and business people to come up with tourism activities to attract tourists to the town.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector in the Oshikoto region met in a one-day conference arranged by the ministry, in collaboration with UNESCO, and with support from GIZ.

The UNWTO is a specialised agency of the United Nations and claims to be the leading international organisation in the field of tourism.

It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how.

About 157 countries are UNWTO members. Namibia joined in 1997.


2022-09-30  Victoria Kaapanda

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