Ondonga Spokesperson Advocates for Weapon-Free Omagongo Cultural Festival

ONAMBANGO, Namibia — Enkali Frans, the spokesperson for the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), has urged attendees of the upcoming Omagongo Cultural Festival to refrain from bringing weapons to the event. The festival is scheduled for 25 May 2024 at the Ondonga Traditional Palace in Onambango village, located in the Oshana Region.

According to Namibia Press Agency, in a recent interview with Nampa, the call for a weapon-free environment stems from a desire to prevent any incidents of violence that might arise, especially given the possibility of alcohol consumption. “We really want to discourage them from bringing any kind of weapon to the festival. This is a harmonious event that is meant to connect people,” Frans stated.

The Omagongo Festival, also known as the Marula Festival, is celebrated by the Aawambo and other Bantu-speaking communities from neighboring countries. It is co-hosted by the Ondonga and Ombandja Traditional Authorities and aims to uphold and celebrate cultural traditions centered around the marula tree, which is seen as a symbol of hope in Northern Namibia.

Frans emphasized the importance of responsible behavior at the festival, particularly regarding alcohol consumption, to ensure the event’s cultural significance continues for future generations. The previous year’s festival was held at Chief Oswin Mukulu Palace in the Omusati Region, traditionally occurring from February to May, aligned with the marula fruit harvesting season.