A feast of culture

There was a feast of culture and money-making opportunities at the Unam cultural festival.

20 August 2019 | Cultural

Ester Kamati



The University of Namibia (Unam) cultural festival was held last week under the theme ‘Culture, our way of life’.

The opening ceremony was held at the Unam main campus on Thursday, although the festival already got underway the day before with cultural performances.

The flea market officially opened on Friday, giving students as well as external exhibitors and business people the platform to not only celebrate and educate others on culture, but also showcase their products and innovation.

Michelle Nyambe, a student who attended the festival, said regulating alcohol is one of the ways to curb conflict and chaos during such events, because students often lose sight of the aim of a cultural festival and get lost in a drinking spree.

One stall that stood out was under the management of Toyo Junis Blackie, who was selling traditional Wambo food items and household accessories.

The items included traditionally woven baskets and traditional cups, which she and her team normally sell at their business venue in Ongwediva.

Toyo believes that cultural festivals are a great platform to teach the younger generation about their roots and the old ways of doing things. Additionally, it is a platform to educate people from outside the country on what Namibia is all about.

“When people came to the stall, some of them asked things like: What is this?

“Some of the people learned stuff that they did not know before and that humbled me,” said Toyo.

She believes that culture is upheld through learning and teaching, and emphasised that it is an easy income produce items yourself and sell them.

Another exhibitor, who is also a Unam student, said the cultural festival gives students a platform to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and make an additional income.

“If Unam can create a space for us to make money, which we will eventually use to pay off certain bills, that’s a good thing,” Paddington Musonza said.

He sold beverages at this year’s festival, saying amidst the cultural activities and learning, there was still room for youth to chill and unwind. Additionally, he urged the youth to find more creative ways of expressing their traditions, instead of the same repetitive routines performed at cultural festivals.

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