Olufuko gets large financial boost

30 July 2019 | Cultural

The annual Olufuko Cultural Festival fundraising gala dinner held at Outapi in the Omusati Region on Saturday night raised more than N$560 000 in cash and pledges.

The Outapi town council pledged the highest amount of N$250 000, followed by the NBC with N$50 000 and First National Bank and Standard Bank with N$30 000 each. The patron of the festival and Namibia's founding president, Sam Nujoma pledged N$5 000.

Outapi will host the annual Olufuko Cultural Festival for the eighth consecutive year and the governor of Omusati, Erginus Endjala said 55 girls have thus far registered to participate in the initiation this year.

Speaking during the dinner, Nujoma said there is not a single child who took part in the Olufuko rite of passage in the past eight years who was forced into child marriage.

Traditional initiation is performed during the festival for young girls, including girls aged 12 years, to prepare them for womanhood.

“Let me make it categorically clear that initiation is not marriage, but the rite of passage from childhood into adulthood,” stated Nujoma, adding that the young girls participating in the festival are future leaders and have to be educated because education is key to knowledge and power.

He urged the girls partaking in Olufuko, and the youth in general, to take their education seriously so that they will become future engineers, medical doctors, scientists, pilots, lawyers, teachers, agriculturists and geologists.

“Marriage will come after they have finished their studies,” Nujoma pointed out. According to him, Olufuko is only there to prepare the girls to become responsible citizens who are fully aware of their cultural norms and values.

The preparatory committee organises the gala dinner every year to raise funds for the successful hosting of Olufuko.

This year's festival is scheduled to be held from 23 August to 1 September.

NAMPA

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