Olufuko gets large financial boost

The Annual Olufuko Cultural Festival fundraising gala dinner held at Outapi in the Omusati Region on Saturday night has raised more than 560 000 in cash and pledges.

Outapi Town Council pledged the highest amount of N.dollars 250 000, followed by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) with N.dollars 50 000 and First National Bank and Standard Bank with N.dollars 30 000 each.

Patron of the festival and Namibia's founding president, Sam Nujoma pledged N.dollars 5 000. The Outapi Town hosts the Annual Olufuko Cultural Festival for the eighth consecutive year. Governor of Omusati Region, ErginusEndjala told the fundraising gala dinner that 55 girls have thus far registered to participate in the festival's initiation this year.

Speaking during the gala dinner, Nujoma said there is not a single child who took part in the Olufuko rite of passage since the past eight year who was forced into child marriage.

Traditional initiation is performed during the Olufuko Festival for young girls, including the girls of 12 years, to prepare them for womanhood.

Let me make it categorically clear that initiation is not marriage, but the rite passage from childhood into adulthood, stated Nujoma, adding that the young girls participating in the festival are future leaders and have to be educated because education is key to knowledge and power.

He urged the girls partaking in Olufuko and the youth in general to take their education seriously so that they will become future engineers, medical doctors, scientists, pilots, lawyers, teachers, agriculturists and geologists.

Marriage will come after they have finished their studies, Nujoma pointed out. According to him, Olufuko is only there to prepare the girls to become responsible citizens who are fully aware of their cultural norms and values.

The preparatory committee organises the gala dinner every year to raise funds for a successful host of Olufuko.

This year's Olufuko is scheduled to be held from 23 August to 01 September.

Source: Namibia Press Agency