As part of this year’s Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence the Ama-Buruxa cultural group from Namibia will visit Johannesburg from 6-11 December 2007 to share experiences and hold theatre performances. Established in 2001, the Ama Buruxa group (Nama for “Simply Amazing”) group comprises children abandoned as a result of HIV and AIDS or gender based violence. Gender Links, a Southern African NGO that works in the governance, justice and media sectors, will host the visit with the support of a number of partner organizations. The visit is sponsored by a private South African donor who was moved to do so after hearing the children sing on their recently released CD ROM.
The group was formed to give theatre performances as a form of therapy and also to raise funds for the payment of school and examination fees for the orphans and vulnerable children in Maltahöhe. The 4000-strong village of Maltahöhe lies in the dry and desolate Hardap region of southern Namibia. Gateway to the Namib desert, the village is a stopping point for many tourists. Maltahöhe as a community is currently facing daunting challenges like HIV and AIDS, poverty, unemployment and the reality of high numbers of street children and orphans. Since the Ama-Buruxa Daweb Cultural group was set up in 2001 they have worked hard to turn the tide and to create a better future for the vulnerable children in the area.
The group currently comprises of 32 learners and two teachers: Simon Anton and Karolina Pieters who founded the group. Pieters, who is also Chairperson of the Village Council, has some 382 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) under her care: nearly ten percent of the village population. Most of these children have lost one or both parents to HIV and AIDS or gender violence. Cultural activities help to make sure the children never forget their roots and remain firmly grounded and provide a form of healing.
Councillor Pieters helps demonstrate how local government can play an effective role in ending gender violence and mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS. As a member of of the ruling Swapo Party, in the 2004 local government elections she was elected as member of the Council. She accepted on the condition that she could bring her children into the Council with her and make them part of the Council’s business.
The cultural group provides a forum for sharing the Nama culture heritage in all its diversity and particularly inculcates in the Nama people and the entire Namibia the rich history and ethos of the people of Africa. The only instrument used is the traditional drums and their traditional dance is called the Namastap. The achievements of the group include:
- Recording a CD named after the group “Ama Buruxa” which was funded by the EU Development Fund and NACOBTA.
- Winning the Regional Cultural Festival – September 2006
- Performing for the President of Namibia at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek
- Performing at major events including:
- The tourist EXPO in Windhoek 2004
- The AC Gams cultural festival in 2004
- The National cultural festival in 2006, Tsandi
- Performing for tourists three to five times a month
Activities planned in Johannesburg
During their visit to Johannesburg the group will:
- Appear on SABC Morning Live.
- Perform at the auditorium, Museum Africa, with a number of like-mided groups.
- Hold a workshop hosted by Constitution Hill with other cultural groups from around the City of Johannesburg.
- Receive IT training and participate in a cyber dialogue at GL offices.
- Be hosted by the Lion Park for a fun day.
Should you make a donation, please notify Mariette on firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone: 011-622-2877
Files to download:
Ama Buruxa Schedule 5 - 12 December 2005 - 33150 KB