WINDHOEK – When attending tertiary or any other cultural festivals, one is expected to see a lot of cultures being represented, traditional cuisines being showcased or see traditional attires being worn but, in this case, the International University of Management (IUM) cultural festival was far from its purpose according to Namibian artist Papa Shikongeni.
Themed ‘My culture, my identity’ the cultural festival which took place last week at the Palm Tree Park in Windhoek, was condemned by Shikongeni who was the keynote speaker at the opening of the cultural festival. According to Shikongeni, students were showcasing a lot of Babylon system and alcoholism with most of the products that were sold or showcased were not cultural. “We have traditional spinach, Ontaku which is a traditional beverage, handmade crafts or beads but they are not being showcased here. Maybe you inherited an alien cultural festival that you do not understand,” Shikongeni stressed.
He added that students are still supporting the system that is oppressing them, instead of supporting students that are making a living out of selling traditional products.
Shikongeni requested for a change in the next cultural festival, saying it must cater students for who they are and who they want to be for the next generation.
Speaking to Youth Corner, a student from the University of Namibia, Asser Nendongo, who was busy preparing hotdogs for his customers also commented that IUM cultural festival is more like a party because there is a lot of alcohol being sold, no cultural performances and there is nothing showing that it is really a cultural festival.’’I wish to advise the organisers to invite more cultural groups and promote Namibian culture than promoting alcohol abuse among students’’ he said.
Founder of Windhoek Annual Cultural Festival, Sylvester Shapwa, said that he has been at the cultural festival since day one as he too was one of the exhibitors. ‘’I was very disappointed to see how it is organised. No cultural activities and only a few traditional cuisines were showcased. All I have seen was a lot of alcohol being sold’’ he complained. According to Shapwa, the fault was not the students’ or the exhibitors but the institution for not giving guidance of what should be showcased at the cultural festival.
“The organisers were at least supposed to make better arrangements because if you just tell people to sell anything, they would choose the products that will bring them more customers for example alcohol” he explained.
Shapwa said he helped the institution by calling some of the police officers he knew and argued that the safety of students was not guaranteed and a lot of them lost their belongings, especially money and phones. Despite all the complaints from the public regarding IUM cultural festival, some students were happy with the money they have made from the festival. A student from IUM who preferred to remain anonymous said, she made a lot of profit from selling beverages at the festival and she cannot wait for the next festival.
Youth Corner posed questions to four IUM Students Representative Councils (SRC) who did not comment before going to print.
New Era Reporter
2019-08-07 07:09:00 2 months ago