KEETMANSHOOP - The Nama Cultural Festival 2020 edition should serve as a platform for the ultimate unification of people of Khoisan descent. “We want this year’s festival to serve as an educational platform for the youth and not only as an opportunity to enjoy and socialise,” said festival spokesperson Antonio Stuurmann.
He said historians from universities in Botswana and South Africa were invited for panel discussions during the festival to provide details around the rich history of the Khoisan community. “There will furthermore be panel discussions on the historical importance of the Ovaherero/Nama genocide that took place long back,” he added.
He continued that Denver Breda, a South African Khoi activist would furthermore speak more about the reclamation of the Khoisan project and the progress made on activities to revive the Khoekhoegowab language. “This will, in the end, ensure the existence of our language in Southern Africa.” Stuurmann further raised the concern that there are currently Nama community members in Botswana who cannot speak their own language. “This should be addressed urgently, as these people were denied their cultural rights during previous colonial atrocities,” he explained. Stuurmann added they, as the Nama community in Namibia, want to reconnect with their fellow Khoisan brothers and sisters in southern Africa.
“Plans are underway this year to introduce local indigenous Khoi-Khoi literature at the festival,” he revealed. “We need our language to be portrayed in books, articles and children stories.” He further informed New Era that the launching of the first Nama written book by local author Zac Dirkse would be another highlight at the festival.
The third edition of the Nama cultural festival will be held from 21 to 24 May at the Westdene Stadium in Keetmanshoop under the theme ‘Unity is our strength’.