242 Pages

National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia


Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more


�National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia� addresses the challenges of creating a �national� culture in the context of a historical legacy that has emphasised ethnic diversity. The state-sponsored Annual National Culture Festival (ANCF) focuses on the Kavango region in north-eastern Namibia. Akuupa critically examines the notion of Kavango-ness as a colonial construct and its subsequent reconstitution and appropriation. He analyses the way in which cultural representations are produced by local people in the postcolonial African context of nation building and national reconciliation by bringing visions of cosmopolitanism and modernity into critical dialogue with the colonial past. Competing cultural festivals are used as celebratory social spaces in which performers and local people participate whilst negotiating a sense of national belonging in an ongoing tension between the need to celebrate diversity, yet strive for unity. This is the first study to discuss the comprehensive role played by those cultural festivals, which were organised in the ethnic homelands during the time Namibia fell under South African control.



Published by
Published 04 May 2015
Reads 0
EAN13 9783905758696
Language English
Document size 7 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0048€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia
Basel Namibia Studies Series
Lauren Dobell6:$32÷æ66758**/()251$0,%,$ ô :$5%<27+(50($16  ND(2(',7,21
William Heuva0(',$$1'5(6,67$1&(32/,7,&6 7+($/7(51$7,9(35(66,11$0,%,$ ô  
Marion Wallace+($/7+ 32:(5$1'32/,7,&6,1:,1'+2(. 1$0,%,$ ô 
8/9 Lovisa T. Nampala; Vilho ShigwedhaAAWAMBOKINGDOMS, HISTORYANDCULTURALCHANGE. 3(563(&7,9(6)5201257+(511$0,%,$ 
13 Martha Akawa7+(*(1'(532/,7,&62)7+(1$0,%,$1/,%(5$7,216758**/( 
M A ICHAEL KUUPA Introduction by M. McKittrick
National Culture in Post-Apartheid Namibia State-sponsored Cultural Festivals and their Histories
Basel Namibia Studies Series 15
Basler Afrika Bibliographien 2015
©2015 The authors ©2015 The photographers ©2015 Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basler Afrika Bibliographien Namibia Resource Centre & Southern Africa Library Klosterberg 23 PO Box 2037 CH-4051 Basel Switzerland www.baslerafrika.ch
All rights reserved.
Efforts were made to trace the copyright holders of illustrations and maps used in this publication. We apologise for any incomplete or incorrect acknowledgements.
Cover photograph: The cultural group Ukumwe entertains at the official opening of the Annual National Culture Festival in the Kavango region, December 2008 Photographer: Michael Uusiku Akuupa
ISBN 978-3-905758-42-9 ISSN 2234-9561
Foreword by Meredith McKittrick
1 The Festive ‘Moment’ of Namibia Introduction
2 The ‘Performance’ of Culture On ‘Doing’ and ‘Performing’ ‘Culture’ at State Sponsored Culture Festivals Anthropology and Performance Performance Theory in the Social Science Sphere Theory of Performance: A Critical Analysis Postcolonial Nationalism: One Namibia One Nation Festival Making in Postcolonial Africa Culture and Making the Nation Festival with New Social Meaning and Function
3 Home Anthropology and Politics of Ekoro “Whose Child are You?” The Dynamics and Politics of ekoro/likoro in Doing Ethnography at Home Connectedness of Ekoro and its Workings in the Research Field Analysis of Ekoro and its Working in the Research Field Assumed and Imposed Fieldwork Self
4 Kavango the ‘Domicile’ in Perspective Kavango: Whose Land is It? Kavango the Place or People? Kavango as Told in Legends The Royal Narrative
1 1
14 14 15 17 19 24 28 29 32
38 40 45 49
53 53 57 62 64
Early German Colonial and Missionary Encounters Kavango the Native Reserve Volkekunde Anthropology and Kavango Kavango After the Implementation of the Odendaal Plan Kavango in Contemporary Discourse: A Historical Sanitization Project
5 Sangfees, the Antecedent of the Postcolonial Annual National Culture Festival The Making of the Colonial Festival: ‘sangfees’ The Department of Education Administration for Kavango 'LYLVLRQ RI <RXWK DQG &XOWXUH $ĶDLUV Sangfees at Ekongoro Ezuva for the ‘Youth’ Postcolonial Annual Culture Festivals
6 Kavango Cultural Identity in Postcolonial Namibia Reclaiming Colonial Ethnicity in a Postcolonial Context On the Search for ‘Tradition’ and ‘Culture’ in Namibia Kavango Museum Maria Mwengere Culture Centre: ‘The Culture Booklet: An Instrument of 2EMHFWLķFDWLRQ÷ “Culture Booklet”: A Resource of Advocacy
7 Namibian Identity Through Dance “Making the Nation”: The Role of Local People in the Festival A Note on ‘Kavango’ Traditional Dances Rehearsal Performances At Mayana Primary School $W 6ZDSR 5HJLRQDO 2ĹFH )HVWLYDO 0DNLQJ ([SORULQJ /RFDO 3DUWLFLSDWLRQ DQG ,QĸXHQFHV LQ WKH 'LVFRXUVHof Nation-Building Mpungu Circuit and Kavango Regional Festivals ù'D\D 1JRPDú D 'UXPPLQJ 3HUIRUPDQFH WKDW +DG 8V (OHFWULķHG $Q $QDO\VLVof Front Stage Interactions at the Festival
68 74 75 79 83
87 87 89  97 99 102
111 111 113 115
137 137 140 145 145 
150 156
8 Deconstructing Postcolonial Ethnic Diversity Annual National Culture Festival: Discourses of'LĶHUHQFHand%HORQJLQJin Postcolonial Namibia The Annual National Culture Festival The March Through Town Inside the Stadium ‘Performances’ of Culture Analysis of the Festival Representations in Kavango 5HĸHFWLRQV RQ .DYDQJR ,GHQWLW\
9 The Postcolonial Nation as Curated by the State Through Dance Conclusion Festivals and ‘Nation Building’
List of Abbreviations
169 170 171 172 174 178 
185 185 190
Basel Namibia Studies Series
In 1997,3 6FKOHWWZHLQ 3XEOLVKLQJ(PSP) launched the%DVHO 1DPLELD 6WXGLHV 6HULHV. Its pri-mary aim was to lend support to a new generation of research, scholars and readers emerg-ing with the independence of Namibia in 1990. Initially, the book series published crucially important doctoral theses on Namibian his-tory. It soon expanded to include more recent political, anthropological, media and cultural history studies by Namibian scholars. 3 6FKOHWWZHLQ 3XEOLVKLQJas an independent publishing house, maintained the series in collaboration with the%DVOHU $IULND %LEOLRJUDSKLHQNamibia Resource Centre and (BAB), Southern Africa Library in Switzerland. All share a commitment to encourage research on Africa in general and southern Africa in particular. Through the incorporation of PSP into the&DUO 6FKOHWWZHLQ 6WLIWXQJthe series, by then a consolidated platform for Namibian Stud-ies and beyond, was integrated into the publishing activities of the BAB. Academic publishing, whether from or about Namibia, remains limited. The%DVHO 1D-PLELD 6WXGLHV 6HULHVcontinues to provide a forum for exciting scholarly work in the human and social sciences. The editors welcome contributions. For further information, or submission of manu-scripts, please contact the%DVOHU $IULND %LEOLRJUDSKLHQat www.baslerafrika.ch.
Firstly, I thank God for the strength, courage and ability to do this work. I also want to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to the following people: Diana Gibson, Olajide Oloyede, Heike Becker, Meredith McKittrick, and Sakhumzi Mfecane, for their aca-GHPLF VXSSRUW )XUWKHUPRUH , WKDQN WKH HQWLUH VWDĶ DW WKH 'HSDUWPHQW RI $QWKURSRORJ\ and Sociology for being good colleagues and for their critical input during seminars when I presented my work. I particularly want to acknowledge my academic friend and brother Kletus ‘Mukashi-rongo’ Likuwa for being very supportive and constructively critical to this scholarly work. I am highly indebted to Dr Herbert Ndango Diaz, the director at National Heritage and Culture Programmes (NHCP), for the opportunity he gave me to work as an intern at Maria Mwengere Culture Centre in Kavango, and Simon Indongo for giving me crucial informa-tion about the national festival. At Maria Mwengere Culture Centre, I thank Thomas Shapi, 7DPZDJoseph Mbambo, Valesca Kazanga, Donaveltha Bashir, Gelasia Shikerete, Seraphina, 7KHUHVLD 1DQJRPEH DQG DOO RWKHUV IRU PDNLQJ P\ VWD\ HQMR\DEOH DQG IXOķOOLQJ DW WKH FHQWUHI am equally indebted and grateful to the people of Kavango and Namibia at large who participated in this study for their time and willingness to contribute to the wealth of knowl-edge. Thank you so much for working with me. I also thank my friends7DWH Jason Ambole, John Sivute, Gerre Kakonda, Nyerere Shanghala, Mukuve Hausiku, Maggy Nepaya, Nehoa Kautondokwa, Michael Shirungu, and Shiremo Shampapi for your encouragement during this academic project. I am grateful to certain people that contributed in many ways to this study but wished to remain anony-mous. Most importantly I am also grateful to Luccio Schlettwein and the Carl Schlettwein )RXQGDWLRQ VSHFLķFDOO\ IRU LWV JHQHURXV ķQDQFLDO VXSSRUW LQ WKH PDNLQJ RI WKLV SURMHFW )LQDOO\ , WKDQN P\ IDPLO\ VSHFLķFDOO\ 0DULD IRU WKHLU RXWVWDQGLQJ VXSSRUW GXULQJ WKLV endeavour. Whilst many people contributed to this study, I take credit for all shortcomings and mistakes in the book.