SADC neighbours participate in Omagongo Cultural Festival

Stefanus Nashama

Delegates from Limpopo in South Africa and Ghanzi in Botswana attended the just-ended Omagongo Cultural Festival hosted by the Ondonga Traditional Authority. The event has been described by President Nangolo Mbumba, as a unifying event.

“It is an event that can be attended and celebrated by all, whether you are from Oshana, Erongo, Zambezi, Hardap, Omaheke, and Limpopo in South Africa or Ghanzi in Botswana. It is a unifying event where we celebrate in style by eating traditional food and drinking traditional brews, especially the famous marula/Omagongo, in moderation. At the same time, we communicate and celebrate in peace with each other,” said Mbumba.

He urged Namibians to continue to promote and celebrate cultural festivals to foster a spirit of unity by pulling in one direction as a nation.

In his remarks at the event, Tatekulu Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo, the King of Ondonga Traditional Authority, said they want to bring people together in traditional ways.

“The Omagongo festival is not only about the excitement when people drink. It is more about keeping our culture and celebrating cultural events to bring people together,” he said.

He added that the Omagongo festival promotes cultural norms and values and serves as a platform for various ethnic groups to interact.

Omagongo is fermented marula juice from the marula fruit.

The Onambango King’s Palace in the Oshana Region hosted the 14th annual Omagongo Cultural Festival on Saturday, drawing political figures, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, government officials, and Namibians from all walks of life.

Those in attendance apart from the president, included the vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, international minister Peya Mushelenga, his deputy Jennely Matundu, prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila, Swapo secretary general Sophia Shanigwa, deputy minister of health Esther Muinjangue, deputy minister of home affairs Lucia Witbooi, deputy minister of works Veikko Nekundi, and deputy minister of education Faustina Caley.

Political figures from opposition parties, such as Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Panduleni Itula, Popular Democratic Movement member of parliament Winnie Mwoongo, traditional leaders, and politicians, also participated in the festivities.

Next year, the Uukwanyama and Ombadja Traditional Authorities will host the annual event.

The Omagongo festival coincided with the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Ondonga Heritage Memorial Shrine in the Ondonga village, Olukonda area of the Oshikoto Region, on Friday.

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