IUM 2023 Cultural Festival Kicks Off

The IUM 2023 Cultural Festival, under the theme “A journey through time, sustainability and culture” kicked off on Wednesday, 30 August 2023 and will last until the 2 September 2023.

Officially opening the Festival, Prof. Osmund Mwandemele, IUM Vice Chancellor acknowledged the critical role a university plays in the assimilation and amalgamation of cultures and knowledge creation. He further noted that we must also recognize that contemporary social challenges demand a more purposeful approach to cultural tolerance and integration. “The common values, customs and traditions shared by a university community give impetus towards striving for academic excellence. At IUM, we are bound together by our individual and collective desire to achieve excellence, through our belief in the transformative nature and power of our university”, said Prof. Mwandemele.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of His Majesty the King of Ondonga, Tatekulu Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo, Mr. Vinson Hailulu, a Senior Chief in the Ondonga Traditional Authority, pointed out that the Importance of Culture cannot be overemphasised, by stating that, “In a African Culture the elders have always acted as the transmitters of culture, as guardians of the secrets of life or as the wise to consult in the prevention of conflicts and preservation of peace at the individual, family and society at large”. 

He added “Therefore looking at how Africa was colonised one would realise that there is an intricate link between the culture of a people and their social, economic and political structures that the former colonial masters clearly understood and hence adopted formidable strategies to undermine, distrust and weaken the African Cultures as a prerequisite to dominating, colonizing and exploiting the African people.”

Mr. Hailulu further remarked that as we celebrate our culture, we should remember that there is a no one culture that is more important than others. But that they were only diverse but yet equal. Pointing out that “cultural diversity is important because our country, workplaces and schools consist of various cultural, racial and ethnic groups. Therefore, learning about other cultures helps us understand different perspectives within the community in which we live. It helps dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups”. At a deeper level, cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own.