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Omuhiva Dance Does Not Qualify - Olopeng

Omuhiva Traditional Dance is popular amongst Herero and Mbanderu
The minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng has told Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that the traditional Herero and Mbanderu dance known as Omuhiva was not included in the Presidentĺs Day competition because it did not meet the qualifying criteria.

Answering a question from Kgosi Tjazako Munduu of Ngami Region at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi recently, Olopeng explained that for a community dance to be considered in the President’s Day competition, it should have been performed at constituency level consistently with not less than six groups of at least 20 members. Olopeng added that the requirements give the groups an opportunity to understand and appreciate the competition set up and also give the dance enough exposure in order to attract more competing groups so that the dance could grow.

“One of the objectives of the President’s Day competitions is to grow and develop our traditional dances. This development and growth are important criteria in the assessment of a cultural dance to include in the competitions.

Once this has been achieved, the ministry and the concerned community would have consultative meetings to appreciate implications of bringing the dance into these competitions,” he said.

He added that

such implications included the fact that once the dance was exposed to the wider public it may mean that other communities in Botswana may adopt that dance. He stressed that it had been noted that President’s Day competition was a national programme that required certain standards of performance.

However, that response did not appease Kgosi Munduu who said he would set an appointment with the minister to further discuss the issue.

Music and dance play important roles in the Herero tribe’s daily life. Both men and women participate in specific dances, the men perform the Omuhiva dance and the women, the Otjongo dance.  In these dances, the dancers clap, chant, and stomp their feet. Music and dance gives this tribe an opportunity to come together, reunite, interact, and to socialise while having fun at the same time. Men, women, and children will sing, dance, and socialise late into the night hours.


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