Namibia has a varied collection of different cultures that live within its borders, and this is a large part of the reason why Namibia is such an incredibly interesting place to visit. From urban centers to national parks the people of Namibia are as varied as its landscapes.
So to celebrate the cultural heritage of all Namibians the National Heritage Council Namibia holds an annual Heritage Week across Namibia to showcase the different cultures that can be found in Namibia. Heritage Week is from the 16th to the 22nd of September 2013 and we're going to explain what that means to you, whether you are a local or just visiting this exciting country.
The San people, one of the oldest communities on earth
The theme for this year’s Heritage Week is ‘Heritage: Namibia’s Knowledge Bank’. The theme is in reference to the continuingly positive influence remembering one’s heritage has on a community or an individual. In Namibia, heritage is how we came to be who we are and is therefore one of the most important things for us to remember.
In order to share the different strands of culture that make up the tapestry of Namibia, the National Heritage Council of Namibia has set aside next week (16-22 of September) to promote museums, art galleries and heritage institutions across the country.
We have collected all the information you will need to take part in the celebrations happening around the country. So whether you are a local looking to reconnect with your roots, or a visitor looking for a meaningful cultural experience, have a look below and see if you can get yourself to any of the following events.
City of Windhoek
The City of Windhoek will be organizing a `Walk for Culture’ on Saturday, 21 September to mark the start of the /Ae//Gams Festival. If you would like to take part please gather at 08:30am (the walk will start at 09.00) next to the new City of Windhoek Museum on Robert Mugabe Avenue. The walkers will visit a number of important heritage sites and encounter cultural performances along the route which will end in Zoo Park.
For more information please contact: Mariah Hamata, Tel: +26461–290-2588, E-mail: [email protected]
Namibia Wildlife Resorts
A range of Namibian Heritage Week specials are on offer across NWR’s camps and lodges. Bookings must be made in advance and will include free entry to the Park. Take this special opportunity to enjoy Namibia’s outstanding beauty.
For more information contact: the NWR on +26461-285-7200.
At the Franco-Namibian Centre there will be an exhibition titled ‘What We See’. The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the week (09.00 – 18.00). The exhibition focuses on the racial documentation project that collected the sound recordings and body casts made of people in the 1930s.
For more information contact: Ruth on +26461-387-330.
Gobabeb Desert Research Foundation
The Foundation will be holding a special Open Day will take place on Sunday, 22nd September to celebrate the declaration of the Namib Sand Sea as Namibia’s Second World Heritage Site. UNESCO recognizes the outstanding importance of this site so come and help us celebrate and appreciate the Namib Sand Sea.
For more information contact: Esther Uushona on +264-694-199.
Guided Tours and animal quiz for all local grade 7 groups - by appointment.
For more information contact: The Grootfontein Museum @ Tel +264-67-242-456
Helvi Mpingane Kondombolo Cultural Village and Tsumeb Museum
The Cultural Village will provide free entry to Namibians throughout the week. Guided tours for school groups will take place on Wednesday and Friday at the Tsumeb Museum. The main celebration involving performances by cultural groups will take place on Friday, 20th September. On Saturday 21st September there will be a craft market where visitors will be able to purchase unique Namibian crafts and dine on traditional foods.
For more information contact: Lemmy Geingob, at +264-6722-1056 or +264-81-146-0011,
The museum will host a three-day programme of activities with demonstrations of local crafts and cultural performances involving local schools.
For more information please contact: Ms Valerie Kleintjies on +264-63-221-256.
Munyondo gwaKapande Cultural Village
A programme of activities will be taking place throughout the week at the village. Including a competition for schools on local culture, traditions, and drum-making and playing.
For more information please contact: Mr. Mukuwe +264-81-218-0213, Mr. Pessa +264-81-248-5508/ +264-81-601-6012
A group of skilled local craft-workers will be based at the museum throughout the week. Visitors will be able to learn and observe traditional skills such as basket weaving, pottery making and how to make oil from marula fruit.
For more information please contact: Ms Magdalena Kanaante on +264-65-240-472 or +264-81-249-3108.
National Archives of Namibia and National Library of Namibia
An exhibition that provides archival materials and literature pieces showing the importance of the traditional knowledge of Namibians.
For more information please contact: Mr Werner Hillebrecht on +264-61-293-5211.
National Art Gallery of Namibia
On Saturday 21 September the Gallery will host a panel discussion about ‘Namibian Art’ from 11am to 13.30 with light refreshments included. This is your chance to meet local artists and learn more about the richness and diversity of Namibia artworks.
For more information please contact: Ms Selma Kaulinge @ +264-61-231-160.
National Earth Science Museum
There will be a varied programme of events at the museum throughout the week including screenings of a film on Copper Smelting by the Kwanyama. There will be daily tours from 10:00 in the morning, with a daily treasure hunt for kids from 09:00 to 09:40.
For more information please contact: Ms Helke Mocke at +264-284-8391 or email [email protected]
National Heritage Council
Namibians can enjoy free entry to the Council’s major sites, such as Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Heroes Acre and Lake Otjikoto.
For more information please contact: Ms Beverley van Wyk on +264-61-244-375.
National Museum of Namibia
The specialized curators at the museum will be providing unique `backstage’ tours of their collections and are inviting school groups to participate in these tours throughout the week.
For more information please contact: Benson on +264-61-276-817
Ombalantu Baobab Tree Heritage Centre
A programme of activities throughout the week at the centre will include performances by local cultural groups and storytellers throughout the week for visiting groups from local schools.
For more information please contact: Mr Gebhard Shiimbi on +264-81-438-4705
Guided tours of the museum for local school groups throughout the week.
For more information contact: Engela at the Museum on +264-64-402-046
Uukwaluudhi Royal Homestead, Tsandi.
At this homestead, local schools will be participating in a programme of activities and competitions to learn about local culture and heritage.
For more information please contact: Joel Nekwaya on +264-81-285-3249 or Ms Hilda Lita on +264-65-258-025.
University of Namibia: History Society.
The society will mount an exhibition in the foyer of the library and will have a programme of consciousness-raising events for students at the campus on 18th and 19th September. The society is also going to be holding a `Walk for Culture’. Activities will include a cultural performance, a heritage tour, and a quiz on Namibian Heritage for students (with prizes). The event will be held at UNAM Olupale Square on the 18th September 2013 from 10h00 to 14h00.
For more information please contact: Bethel +264-81-871-2057, E-mail [email protected].
Walvis Bay Museum
Activities will take place during the week aimed primarily at local schools. Members of the Topnaar community will be on hand to introduce learners to their cultural traditions. There will also be a demonstration of the ways in which the !Nara melon plays an important role in the communities of this part of Namibia.
For more information please contact: Ms Antoinette Mostert on +264-64-201-3273 or email the museum on [email protected]