Omagongo time in the north!

26 February 2020 | Local News

Traditional authorities in the north are gearing up for the annual Omagongo Festival, where copious amounts of fermented marula juice is consumed.

All eight traditional authorities are putting their activities on hold, including traditional court hearings, until the end of March, when the omagongo season ends.

During the season, the omagongo traditional norms are expected to prevail, therefore the carrying of weapons of any kind is strictly prohibited, and all traditional authority administrative matters are put on hold.

Oukwanyama Traditional Authority spokesperson Endrew Naikaku told Ewi lyaNooli that all traditional courts will be in recess as from 1 March and will only resume at the beginning of April.

“For the rest of February and the whole of March, there will be no traditional court hearings. This is not only in Oukwanyama, but across all tribes.

“Both traditional leaders and community members are given time to enjoy omagongo. We will resume after the omagongo season in April,” Naikaku said.

He added that it is not a good idea to conduct court hearings while most people were under the influence of the potent brew.

He said omagongo is made at every homestead, making it difficult to control consumption.

“That is why we are urging people not to carry weapons, to avoid injuries. It is difficult to prosecute cases while people have consumed alcohol,” he said.

This will also give time for the traditional authorities to start preparing for the 2020 Omagongo Festival, which will be hosted by the Ombalantu Traditional Authority in May.

The festival has over the years become an official calendar event for the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and the National Heritage Council of Namibia.

ILENI NANDJATO

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