By Juliet Binda – CITW Namibia Admin Assistant
Okaukuejo Combined School is situated at Etosha National Park, 17 km from Okaukuejo, on the way to Outjo. The school was established in 1991 and inaugurated in 1992 as a project school to provide education for the children of Etosha’s employees, and those from nearby farms and tourism lodges. Children from all Namibian races and tribes attend the school, which is rich in harmonious cultural diversity. It comprises learners from the San group, as well as Oshiwambo, Damara/Nama, Herero, Silozi, Kavango, and others.
The Junior Primary Phase teachers organised the school’s first ever Cultural Day on the 13th September 2019, based on the theme of “OUR JOURNEY, OUR STORIES”. This event showcased the strong spirit of multicultural inclusiveness amongst the learners.
The day was celebrated with a number of activities that reflected the children’s sense of belonging, acknowledging that diversity is one of their greatest assets. On this day, learners and teachers were invited to wear traditional dress that reflected their cultural backgrounds. Families were invited to come along, also dressed in their attire, and participate in different activities to support the school.
Families were requested to provide traditional food, medicine, accessories and cutlery to create a showcase for the children, and the community as a whole. Different traditional food was sold on the day, and four groups entertained the crowd, namely the Oshiwambo, Herero, Damara/Nama and the San.
The Oshiwambo group performed a dance and displayed their traditional medicine, accessories, cutlery and food. The Herero group amused the crowd with a traditional wedding and a dance, followed by the San group who performed a drama on how they lived as hunters and gatherers. Finally, the Damara/Nama group performed a Nama “stap”.
Okaukeujo Combined School’s inaugural cultural celebration was a tremendous success thanks to the many stakeholders who contributed, and they plan to host this marvellous event every academic year from now on.