OMUTHIYAGWIIPUNDI - The just ended, much-acclaimed Tsumeb Copper Festival has attracted mixed emotions from revellers and exhibitors, who seem to doubt the relevance of the event.
Many corporates, exhibitors and individuals New Era spoke to had little too good to say about the 17th edition of the festival, claiming it did not live up to their expectations.
Some argued they can no longer feel the taste, while others sense that since the renowned event was shifted from its inception venue, the UN Park to JP Radledge Stadium for three years now, it has started to lose its value and significance.
They are, however, impressed by the security.
The chairperson of the organising committee, Julius Gaeseb, acknowledged the masses’ concerns. He added that the committee is considering having new members on board.
Furthermore, he said, they experienced a slump in the number of visitors: from 13 500 in 2018 to 10 000 this year.
“This was not a surprise; we expected it due to the economic downturn. On a lighter note, we aspire to establish a new committee to bring in other members, and soon, we will pass this to council for a resolution,” conceded Gaeseb.
On the other hand, exhibitors echoed that in the last two years interest in the event has diminished, raising questions whether is it due to the economic crisis or the organisers are now failing in their own right, as it is losing its charm that has seen the festival flourish since its inception in 2003.
“Our expectation was to at least get 5 000 visitors at our stall, but we only got less than 1 000, which was not even half of our expectation. So, we are disappointed by this year’s event. We hope things will change for the better, or else corporate will start withdrawing – just like what some have done already,” stated Charlie Matengu, spokesperson of Cenored, which is part of the event sponsor.
Matengu said they have some reservation about featuring next year, saying it will have to be discussed.
Another exhibitor, who travelled from Windhoek, said she had some reservation about partaking next year.
On the other hand, Gaeseb pressed that changing the venue was a three-year pilot programme which has reached its end.
“We noted that many people still have the UN Park at heart, and that is why we would like to hear from the masses, so that we can see how we can improve the 2020 edition to make it bigger and satisfying,” concluded Gaeseb.
2019-11-08 07:18:48 | 8 months ago