Namibian Batshara cultural festival drums up appetite for tradition, environment preservation

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Namibia successfully wrapped up its annual Batshara cultural festival Monday after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drumming up residents’ awareness towards preserving the tradition and environment.

Lister Rutuyo, the event coordinator, said the festival, organized by the Mayeyi tribe in northeast Namibia’s Zambezi Region, aims to celebrate the tribe’s rich cultural heritage by showcasing their unique custom, music, dance, and art.

The festival held in the Sangwali village in Judea Lyabboloma Constituency from Aug. 5 to 7 was also attended by their counterparts from Botswana and other tribes in the region.

“This cultural festival provides entertainment and plays a crucial role in preserving and promoting Mayeyi custom. This event edition is even more special and relevant as we unite after three years of pandemic,” he said.

According to Rutuyo, through this event, the Mayeyi tribe showcases their resilience in overcoming challenges while keeping their cultural identity alive.

“In that way, we maximize the opportunity for younger generations to learn about their ancestral roots and for outsiders to gain a deeper understanding of this vibrant community,” he said, adding that it also focuses on environmental protection and finding creative solutions to manage human-wildlife conflict.

“The environment remains an important thread that connects us and is central to our country’s tourism sector,” he said.

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