Professor Sarala Krishnamurthy, a researcher in the Faculty of Human Sciences, and her team, recently gave a presentation to the Namibian Scientific Society. The presentation was focussed on an ongoing project that is being conducted by the Faculty, aimed at protecting, preserving and promoting the cultural rights of Namibian indigenous groups and their languages.
The overall objective of the project, known as P3ICL, is to preserve the culture of Namibian indigenous groups, specifically the Namibian Khoe-Khoe, Ovaherero and Owambo. The presentation was engaging and there were many questions from the audience about the cultural practices of the Oshimbadja community in general, and the Olufuko festival in particular.
Olufuko festival has been in the news recently because it has attracted the attention of many people. The Olufuko is a rite of passage for young Oshimbadja girls and it is considered to be an initiation ceremony for girls to prepare them for marriage. Critics believe that it should be abandoned because it objectifies young girls and can be misused by human traffickers, whereas supporters are of the notion that it is closely linked to the identity of the Oshimbadja people and therefore should be held in high regard. Researchers from the Faculty, Drs Haileleul Woldemariam and Nkosinothando Mpofu, as well as Lizelle Miller, a social worker from the Department of Student Services, formed part of the team.
The P3ICL project is funded by the European-Union to the tune of N$3.9 million.