Masubia cultural festival marked in style

The festival marked an annual cultural gala of the Masubia-

speaking people in the Caprivi region.

According to Masubia, the ceremony is a way of drawing historical memories where all sisters and brothers of Masubia ancestors from Namibia, Botswana and Zambia mingle and share old memories as well as cultural and developmental ideas.

The ceremony also serves as an opportunity in which all Masubia-speaking people present gifts to their chief as required by their culture. Gifts such as clay pots, traditional mats and many other Masubia craft products were brought before their traditional leader, Chief Munitenge Kisco Liswani III.

As inhabitants of eastern Caprivi, the Masubia tribe is known for its cherished culture known as “Buinkuhane”. A huge number of Masubia people live within the vast north-eastern Zambezi plains of Namibia and are known for their love of water due to their special interest in fish from the Zambezi River and water lilies which they traditionally call “isoto”, which all form part of these people’s diet.

According to them, Buinkuhane is a diverse cultural heritage that sprang over to the north-western parts of Botswana where, due to political demarcations, the tribe has another leader known as Masubia Royal Chief Moffat Maiba Nkokwena. A minority of this tribe is also spread along Zambia’s south and south-western provinces where they have mixed under the Matoka and Balozi tribes.

As a people with many cultural traits in common, a huge number accompanied by tribal representatives and different cultural dancers on Saturday decided to travel from both Botswana and Zambia to celebrate with their Namibian counterparts at the tribe’s headquarters at Bukalo, about 40km east of Katima Mulilo.

Chief Nkonkwena from Botswana, Chief Kalonga Nene Lwizi Sikute of the Matoka tribe at Chuundu in Zambia, and Ngambela Munikayumbwa Mulumemui Omei of the Malozi kingdom at Mwandi also from Zambia, as well as a local chiefs Ngambela, Ezekias Shakwa of the Mayeyi tribal establishment of western Caprivi were among the tribal representatives who attended the event.

As the host chief, the local Masubia tribal leader Liswani III told his subjects to be merry as they uphold their culture.

“It has been said that a nation without culture is dead. You who are here demonstrate that Buinkuhane can’t die as long as you are alive. Move forward leaving a legacy behind, an example to young ones,” said Liswani III.

He further urged them to live according to the directions of their elders as well as to cherish the peace and tranquillity which the country was enjoying.

Liswani III emphasised the need for development in his area and motivated his people to engage in tourism and agricultural projects, which according to him will root out food shortages among his people.

The “Intenge Trust Fund” was subsequently established to fast-track poverty reduction among the Masubia people and its offices are yet to be built at Bukalo. The fund will help to revive agricultural and tourism projects in the Masubia areas.

The chief further urged his subjects to avoid livestock trafficking so as to curb the spread of livestock disease.

As a token of appreciation, Chief Liswani III paid tribute to his retired and serving members by issuing them with certificates.

“I am very grateful, because this is a symbol which shows that the chief cares for his people and that he loves us,” said one elder after receiving his certificate.

The event was colourful with various traditional groups that entertained the audiences with their cultural dances which they performed in style. A lot of tourists also flocked to witness this unique cultural ceremony.

August 2008
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