Learners of the Wennie du Plessis Secondary School in the Omaheke region on Monday witnessed a variety of cultural traditions and norms as practised by Ovaherero people of Namibia.
Local artists Ethnix and township disco duo One Blood are the facilitators of this initiative by Sanlam Namibia under its ‘My Culture My Life’ programme, which aims to promote the preservation of the diverse Namibian cultures among the youth.
Youth Corner had a chat with some learners after the two-hour long engagement on Ovaherero culture, and this is what they had to say.
Veronderako Kamurongo (17)
I have learnt that culture is everything; it forms part of an individual’s identity. The artists clearly explained to us how various activities are carried out and why they do so. What also stands out for me is the emphasis on taking pride in our culture. You must know where you are coming from and where you are going.
Vezuvapi Zamunu Mbaukua (18)
I learnt so many things, including the importance of culture in general, and that it is crucial to respect culture. As young people, we are not usually at events all the way through, but today I got to know exactly what happens at a Herero wedding and funeral –and why things happen the way they do.
Uatjiukua Kazongominja (16)
As an Omuherero person, I got to learn and know more about the holy fire and what that means to us. I am happy that I was enlightened more on the traditional food we consume and how it came about. I was particularly impressed with the types of traditional music and what they mean, and where they are sung or performed.
Amenenge Shikokola (17)
I am an Omuwambo, and I am happy to be part of this batch that got to be exposed to the Herero culture. I didn’t know there were other tribes under the Herero umbrella. It was interesting to know the process of getting married – from asking the hand in marriage to the whole event and the involvement of the family, including the activities surrounding the taking of the bride to her husband’s homestead.
Rou-Che Kapimbi (17)
The knowledge that I acquired through the artists and Sanlam today was amazing. I learned where my culture originates from; this helped me a lot in understanding my culture. As young people, we are so caught up in the world and the current times that we are slowly deserting our roots. We need to keep to our roots. My culture is my life.
Vitapi Nguvauva (17)
I was aware of the traditional songs but didn’t take note of the significance. I was happy to be educated on that by Page, Etjo, Daphne and Victor. I learned that the type of Otjiherero spoken in Angola, Kunene and Omaheke is not the same. It was good getting this piece of information; I thought everything was the same.
Future Ambambi (17)
I am an antisocial person – but through Sanlam and this project of theirs, I am now able to have an interest in talking to Ovaherero and finding out more about their culture. Although this session focused only on Ovaherero people, I am now more interested in learning how things work in other cultures. I didn’t know anything about the holy fire; I didn’t know it was something real. What stands out for me is the importance of not undermining each other’s culture. We should love and respect one another.
Tjiuazupo Kazekondjo (17)
I love the diversity that exists within Ovaherero people, and I am excited I was taught that here. The traditional wear and where it originates from fascinated me more. The types of lifestyles they live opened my mindset as an Otjiherero speaker. What we learned today was mind-blowing.
Ngusora Izango Tjonga (17)
Let’s take pride in our cultures as young Namibians – that is what I am taking away from this session. I am more interested in the holy fire and what to know about everything. I never knew what was happening there during those ceremonies and why they take place but my mind was opened up a little today, and I appreciate that. We need to pay more attention to events and see exactly how things are done.
Kakuire Ndjarakana (17)
My observation from this is to always take pride in our culture. I learned the importance of respecting other people’s cultures and ways of doing things. I was happy to be told more about how weddings happen. We are usually in the background playing and fooling around, and not necessarily paying attention to how things are done. I didn’t know that apart from cattle being given as dowry, money is also paid. I learnt that here, which is interesting.
– Compiled by Paheja Sirirka