Carnival In Namibia: Kick-off Event For The 70th Wika In Windhoek

15 Nov 2023

German-speaking jesters like to call their carnival season. In Windhoek, however, the kick-off event did not start at 11.11 as usual, but at 18.33. "It is the 70th season of the Windhoek Carnival," WiKa President Holger Mentzel explained to Namibian.org. "To mark the occasion, we have invited everyone to a festive evening."

In addition to a light-hearted talk on the background to the carnival by head jester Mentzel, the guests enjoyed a taster of the Prinzengarde's dance routines. The WiKa 2024 programme was also presented.

The fifth season has begun in Windhoek: Festive evening of the Windhoek Carnival WiKa to kick off its 70th carnival season with invited guests on the terrace of Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW). 
Photo: Sven-Eric Stender

This time, the motto of the foolish fun is "Applaus Applaus, Vollgas voraus!" ("Applause applause, full speed ahead!"). It will begin on 4 April and end on 14 April. The programme includes a parade through the city, a princes' ball, fancy-dress ball, "Bütten" evenings (with rhymed mockeries on politics and other topics), ladies' and gentlemen's evening, youth and children's carnival. The final event is the Kehraus.

The WiKa is by no means an event only for people of German origin in Namibia. Many representatives of other cultural groups in the country come to the Prinzenball and Maskenball and even more so to the International "Bütten" Evening.

Nevertheless, there is a strong connection to carnival in Germany. "Of course, since the WiKa was founded in 1952, we have learnt a lot from the carnival over there by watching," said WiKa President Mentzel. "We are also delighted to welcome bands from Germany every year - like the Happy Sound Orchestra ("HSO") from Eschweiler near Aachen." A special highlight for the 70th WiKa: the Cologne cult band "De Höhner" ("The Chickens"). German schlager star Peter Wackel will also be performing again.

Wackel was also among the guests at the opening evening at SKW. Sponsors such as the Namibian group of companies Ohlthaver & List, CIC with "their" Jägermeister brand and the German holiday airline Discover Airlines, which will fly the musicians in from Germany, were also invited.

Five months of carnival in Namibia

An exciting video produced by the tourism company Gondwana Collection Namibia in 2018 to mark the 66th anniversary of WiKa describes the background to WiKa.

In Namibia, by the way, the fifth season lasts five months or longer: next year, it starts in March with the biennial Eastern Carnival in Witvlei (Osten-Karneval, OsKa). This is followed by the WiKa in Windhoek in April, the Coastal Carnival (Küsten-Karneval, KüsKa) in Swakopmund and the OtjiKa in Otjiwarongo in June and finally the LüKa in Lüderitz in August or September. Incidentally, there is also a carnival offshoot in South Africa: in Pretoria in August.

Carnival in Namibia: WiKa Prinzengarde marching at the head of the colourful parade on Independence Avenue in the centre of Windhoek.
Screenshot: WiKa website

 

Sven-Eric Stender

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