Totem Expo Gets Bigger and Better

The much-anticipated annual Oshakati Totem Expo commences on Friday with the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa expected to officiate on Saturday.

The event will run from Friday May 29 until June 16, 2015.

The Chief Executive Officer of Oshakati Town Council, Iita Werner, said the aim of the Totem Expo is to educate the youth and the nation at large on its roots and in return preserve culture. He said such initiatives of reminding people of their roots assist in curbing ill behaviours such as gender-based violence. In addition, it will also see people following what is right in their own cultures instead of copying other people’s cultures and practices. The event educates the nation on the different totem representation both local and international, as well to preserves the various totems.

The event will also foster the celebration of heritage and the acceptance of each other irrespective of one’s background.

This year’s cultural event will witness 15 totem floats with additional totem representations from Omaheke, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Kavango and Zambezi regions.

In addition, the number of visitors to the event are expected to double to 120 000 compared to 60 000 last year.

This year’s event will also witness an increase in exhibitors from 120 000 last year to 140 000 this year.

Jackson Muma, Oshakati Town Council’s spokesman, related that the numbers of visitors and exhibitors to the event have grown tremendously since the start of the expo in 2012.

“In 2012, we had less than 3 000 visitors and 70 exhibitors, but to date the numbers have multiplied and that for the council is an achievement,” stated Muma.

Visitors at the expo will have the opportunity to feast on a variety of traditional cuisines and be entertained by several cultural groups and musicians. Miss Totem Expo is also lined up.

The council has also added flavour to the event by introducing a story-telling evening where visitors will be enriched and educated on the history of totems, what they are and what they present, through story forms.

A totem is an animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem.

Source : New Era