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Most of the ‡Nūkhoen who attended the 46th Damara Annual Cultural Festival at Okombahe have described the presence of President Hage Geingob at the event as notable.

For 46 years now, the Damara tribe has gathered at Okombahe Settlement to celebrate and preserve their cultural practices, music, and other heritage.

As per tradition, the 46th Damara Annual Cultural Festival kicked off at dawn when Gaob Justus llGaroeb lit the Ancestral Fire of Unity.

Revellers were thrilled when President Geingob, for the first time, attended in his capacity as head of state.

A senior elder of the Damaran, Apius !Auchab, says Dr. Geingob's attendance is historical and significant.

"Because before he leaves his office, he has also attended the Damara festival. All along, he has attended all the other festivals because these people always invite him on time. But, you know, we cannot just blame him for not attending the Damara festival because it's also on our side that we were not on time to invite him. The President of the country has a very hectic schedule, so you need to invite him at the beginning of the year, and then you will get a spot in his programme. But now he has made time to come, so it should be the happiest day for everybody."

The ‡Nūkhoen, who hailed the festival as one of the greatest promoters of their traditions, has invited all Damaras to attend such events as they strengthen unity.

"We are very happy that the Khoe-khoe-gowab-speaking people and the ‡Nūkhoen proud people are standing up for their culture, that they can embrace their ‡Nūkhoen roots in this cultural festival, and that they are very enlightened. They are very happy about the festival. It's a very good thing for us as we are united," said Amy |Naris.

!Auchab added that "A tribe without culture and values is not a tribe because you are recognised and admired by your cultural practices, so mostly part of the culture has been forgotten as the generations are going, and there is a need for the elders to pass on to the younger generations the cultural values of the tribes as the generations are coming."

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Photo Credits
Namibian Presidency

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Author
Renate Rengura