Keetmanshoop Show underway

KEETMANSHOOP: The annual Keetmanshoop Show expectantly opened its gates to the public Wednesday morning.

All preparations of the last few months, weeks and days by the local show community and exhibitors alike have culminated into the colourful and vibrant fest to be observed over the next few days under this vast, quiet and bleak, yet glorious sky.

Exhibitors from all over the expansive //Karas Region, other Namibian towns, as well as a few from other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries were optimistic and hopeful to help create an enjoyable show atmosphere for the public while making a little profit along the way.

At the official opening held Tuesday evening, //Karas Governor Clinton Swartbooi lauded the show organisers for their dedication and hard work to bring this event to the people year on year, and for their efforts to bring the inhabitants of the region together.

He urged that it should not only be about music, nice food, and other show attractions, but about continuously striving to reach the hearts of the people.

The governor said that the region was making strides in promoting cooperation among the different tribes and people of the region, but more had to be done to encourage unity among all.

“We are not yet one as a region. In a population of only 67 000 people, we are too few, yet worlds apart,” Swartbooi said.

The young regional leader also took the opportunity to announce that this would be his last official presence at the Keetmanshoop Show.

“Next year this time I’ll be on the street, or at Parliament,” he joked following his recent fair showing on the Swapo parliamentary list.

He did, however, promise to continue the work he does for the Keetmanshoop Show Society – raising funds from both Government and the corporate sector.

At the same occasion, long-serving Keetmanshoop Show Society president, farmer Leon van Wyk, bid farewell. He served for the last 22 years, and said that for all that time, the aim of his work has been to bring people together.

The much-loved farmer, who was praised for his unfailing and selfless commitment throughout the show opening event, said it was time to make way for “the young ones”.

He similarly wished the governor well “on giving up”, light-heartedly adding, “I knew you wouldn’t last”.

The show ends on Saturday.