11 August 2017

Namibia: Swakop's 125th Birthday Bash Brings Cultures to Life

Swakopmund — Various cultures livened up last weekend when the coastal town of Swakopmund celebrated its 125th anniversary, unearthing what a melting pot of cultures the town is, with people mingling through dance and song against a backdrop of palm trees

Just like any good party, the emphasis was on creating a lively atmosphere at the town's open air 'amphitheatre', which is exactly what they achieved.

A line-up of live entertainment drew a steady stream of locals, tourists and well wishers to the festivities.

But a party isn't a party without good music, and the DJs were in top form as they pumped up the volume, whilst traditional dance groups got into the spirit of the occasion with some finger clicking moves and folk storytelling.

Altogether 52 stalls lined in the designated area, most with traditional food ranging from fried Mopani worms to juicy pots of meat dishes.

Amongst the cooking shuffle, a group of Ovaherero ladies dressed in their best, pulled out all the stops with their cooking skills, whilst the men contentedly stood around the braai grid sampling the treats.

Apart from a line-up of over 20 rap and kwaito artists who joined in, one could not afford to miss the traditional Nama dance Group !NABAS, with their infectious and joyous performance on stage being one of the entertainment highlights.

It turned out that this was the group's maiden appearance, and according to the members who took part, they all originate from the Deep South, and relocated to Swakopmund years ago except for one elderly Walvis Bay member.

The 15-member !NABAS dance group, which only recently came together, meets twice a week to practice, as they plan to keep their customs alive by performing at various functions around the country in the future.

All the ladies were turned out in freshly stitched Nama 'frocks', having saved up enough to purchase matching lengths of material for their public appearance.

But it was their swirling dance moves with nifty 'Lang arm' steps, that bore testimony to their "proud to be Nama" message that had the crowds clapping and cheering.

Meanwhile in keeping with its reputation as the "jewel of Namibia", the municipality embarked on a huge clean-up operation the day before the proceedings.The hardworking organising committee, the sponsors and private sector, who contributed their time and resources, pulled off a "job well done".

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