The annual festival, which creates a platform for the university community and the public to celebrate cultural diversities and embrace one another’s uniqueness, was addressed by the Deputy Head of the South African High Commission in Namibia, Eli Bitzer, who emphasised that there is a need to allow our cultures to accommodate all genders and minority groups in total equality. Bitzer particularly singled out young women who fail to complete their studies because of cultural practices such as early marriage, a practice he strongly condemned.
“We should also reflect on the need to allow our cultures to accommodate all genders and minority groups, whether scientists or sangomas, artists or academics, in total equality,” Bitzer said.
The First National Bank Namibia (FNB) has been the main sponsor of the Cultural Festival for the past 17 years and this year the bank pledged N$75 000 towards the festival. Revonia Kahivere, Corporate Social Investment Manager, emphasised that the bank sponsored the festival because it is in line with its policy which aims to promote arts and culture in Namibia.
In his welcoming remarks, Vice-Chancellor, Tjama Tjivikua, said the festival should be used for reflection, introspection and learning. “As educated individuals, I expect all participants to be culturally sophisticated and to effectively contribute to cultural harmony,” he said.
NUST hosts about 13 000 students from all corners of the country, and from more than 20 countries across the globe who represent a wide assortment of ethnic groups and diversity.
Tonight the festival will conclude with the crowning of Mr and Miss NUST at the Roman Catholic Parish Hall in Windhoek.