The Namibian (Windhoek)

7 December 2012

Namibia: Cultural Festival 'Chaotic'

THE organisation around the National Cultural Festival under way at the Multi-Purpose Sport Stadium in Windhoek is said to be in chaos.

The Namibian yesterday received a number of calls from participants who arrived from the regions, who said that the event was not planned properly.

The festival is an annual event that takes place in the first week of December. Last year it was held at Opuwo in the Kunene Region.

Schools where the participants were supposed to be accommodated were not informed and as a result some of the people were stranded at the gates, some of the participants said.

One participant said men and women had to share the same toilets at Jan Möhr Secondary School, but some men were later moved somewhere else.

“Now we are supposed to be starting at eight [yesterday morning] but we are still at our hostels waiting for breakfast because the food was only dropped off this morning. Some participants had to go to bed Wednesday night on empty stomachs,” she wrote.

The activities only started at eleven, The Namibian was told.

Hans Amesho, one of the group leaders from the Oshikoto Region, said the confusion must have been caused by lack of communication between the organisers and the participants.

“If the regional cultural festival was to be rated compared to the national festival, the regional one would get 90 percent and the national would get 10 percent. How can we promote our culture towards Vision 2030 if people are behaving like this?” Amesho asked.

“This is very discouraging, especially to the young ones who are attending the event for the first time.”

Contacted for comment, the deputy director of culture in the Ministry of Youth, Andre Strauss, said the information provided to The Namibian was not factual. One should consider that when you are dealing with a large number of people, not everyone will be satisfied with the service, he added.

He said there was plenty of food at the festival.

“If the newspaper goes ahead and publishes any lies, then I will sue the paper because I am willing to talk in person and discuss all the details,” he added.

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