• February 22nd, 2020

Oxungi longs for Oshiwambo culture preservation

 Aletta Shikololo

WINDHOEK- With some Namibian cultures, including the Oshiwambo culture, slowly losing their values, Oxungi which means night discussions in Oshiwambo language attracted hundreds of event-goers to promote cultural diversity and language in the country on Saturday.

The event which was founded earlier this year by a 22 years old student from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), Helena Amweenye who was impressed at the sight of a huge number of young people who showed up wearing their traditional Oshiwambo attires and confidently speaking their dialects.

Amweenye who is an aspiring entrepreneur was amazed at the success of her festival, saying it’s a wonderful thing that the large number of people that showed-up are the youth, as they are the ones that are responsible for reviving their cultures.

According to Amweenye, she has been frustrated by the fact that a lot of young people struggle to speak their languages and know little about their cultures which pushed her to come up with an initiative to help them overcome their struggles.

“I created this platform for people to get together and learn about different cultural activities. The inspiration came from the urge for me to want to know more about my culture and preserve what I already know. That is why this event is very important for us to keep what our forefathers have left for us,” the accounting student explained.

The event was graced by Local visual artist and musician Ndasuunye Shikongeni, popularly known as, Papa Shikongeni, Senior Lecturer of Oshiwambo at the University of Namibia (Unam), Dr Petrus Mbenzi and Author Kapadhi Uiras who were enlightening the younger generation on the importance of culture and ways on how they should preserve it.

What mostly stood out was the cultural performances and different activities such as riddles, Owela traditional game and storytelling.

Talking to Entertainment Now! Papa Shikongeni urges young people not to get lost in foreign traditional ways of living but to stay true to themselves, respect and have pride in their cultures.
“Nowadays young people respect European languages more than they do to their languages. How can you be fluent in English, German or Afrikaans if you can’t even speak a full Oshiwambo sentence without mixing it with other languages? You will find them pretending not to know their indigenous languages but feel insecure when they cannot speak a foreign language,” complained the multi-talented singer.

Uiras who has written all her books in Oshiwambo language in contribution to her language preservation applauded Oxungi organising committee for playing an important role in keeping their culture alive, adding that it was educative and informative.
“Many of our children are in multi-cultural schools and that is how they lose their cultures, so these kinds of initiatives are important to keep teaching them about their roots,” she stated.

New Era Reporter
2019-09-13 08:58:03 | 5 months ago

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