The Rector of the Poly, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, said during the opening that the festival serves as a platform where the Poly community can celebrate yet another year of achievements, national identity, peace, tranquillity and unity on which the future of Namibia shall be built.
“This week the nation’s attention is on the Poly, and we shall not hesitate to impress with variety and style – as is tradition. We shall celebrate individual and collective cultural features and achievements,” Tjivikua said. He added that the Cultural Festival is a time for reflection, introspection and learning.
“In order to map the way forward as a nation and in order to celebrate the best we can offer, we ought to reflect and correct our paths where necessary because as educated individuals, I expect all of us to be culturally sophisticated and to effectively contribute to cultural harmony,” Tjivikua said.
Cleophas Malima, SRC for Info and Publicity, also emphasised the importance of the Cultural Festival and said: “Any culture is born in mixing, interaction and confrontation. Equally, it is in isolation that culture dies. That is why cultural events, such as the Poly’s annual Cultural Festival, that enable these direct exchanges and promote direct dialogue between different ways of looking at reality, are so important. Cultural events also allow individuals to take pride in their culture and at the same time to appreciate other cultures.”
Ingrid Goeieman, Public Relations and Sponsorships Manager at FNB Namibia, announced that the bank, that has sponsored the Cultural Festival for more than a decade, has increased its funding of the festival to N$75 000 over a period of three years. She said it was an honour for FNB Namibia to be associated with an institution such as the Poly and its Cultural Festival. The bank is supporting not only the Cultural Festival through the FNB Foundation, but also several other Poly projects such as Innovation by the Women in Engineering as well as sponsoring various academic awards for deserving students.
“Culture is the backbone of any nation and therefore we applaud the Poly for empowering students to learn about the different cultures in Namibia through initiatives such as the Cultural Festival,” Goeieman said.