Celebrating Namibia's Cultural Diversity

7 Nov 2023

The first weekend in November 2023 was a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the Namibian people.

The Damara-cultural group brought the small settlement of Okombahe in the Erongo Region to life. It was the 46th time the festival was held, and the female members of the various Damara clans showed off their traditional dresses in all rainbow colours.

Damara-Chief Justus Garoeb (centre) and President Hage Geingob (Right) release white pidgeons as symbol of peace at the Damara Festival, while First Lady Moncia Geingos (far right) looks on.
Photo: Namibia Presidency


President Hage Geingob attended the annual Damara festival for the first time along with First Lady Monica Geingos, who was dressed in full traditional Damara attire. This earned her ululations and applause.

“We come together annually to celebrate our rich culture and traditions, which is also an opportunity for our youth to learn about them. We also strengthen the ties among our different clans,” said Damara Chief Justus Garoeb.

President Hage Geingob, who is a Damara-speaker, briefly took to the microphone and said in his home language, that unity in diversity was important.

The first ever San Cultural Festival took place in Gobabis.
Photo: Namibia Presidency


A day earlier, Friday, 03 November 2023 Geingob attended a San cultural festival in Gobabis in the Omaheke region, which was the first ever event of its kind for this minority group in Namibia. Also called the First People and regarded as the indigenous ethnic population in southern Africa, the San in Namibia had the opportunity during this festival to perform traditional dances, ancient rituals and to relate their oral history.

The San festival was a resounding success, and the organisers plan to arrange a San festival next year and to make it an annual event.    

Brigitte Weidlich

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