At the end of February 2017 I had again the possibility, together with friends from Germany, to visit the Living museum of the Mbunza very close to Rundu. Since the opening in 2012 it is my third time already. Immediately I recognized how structured and organized the visits of tourists are handled, how much effort Sebron and the colleagues of the museum put into imparting knowledge and to really show the very specifics of the ethnicity of the Mbunza on the Okavango river.
The program was entertaining, varied a lot and had been presented with a lot of commitment by all members of the museum. Sebron, the guideand manager of the Living Museum answered all questions about the origin, language, family traditions, construction of huts and the structure of the village. It was noticeable how proud he was when talking about the cultural impact and the awareness of the museum, regionally, nationwide and in the branch of tourism. Since 2012, more than 1500 people visited the museum, amongst them school classes, locals, day tourists and lodge guests. The revenue helped to improve the life conditions of the families of all employees of the museum on a large scale.
After heavy rain falls in February the way to the museum was a difficult one. For this, Sebron asked for help to improve the state of the 4 km long road leading to the museum. A time-consuming and costly task. A solution probably should be discussed together with the local administration and the Hakusembe lodge. Furthermore, the employees were missing an info board at the entrance of the museum. For this I promised support by the LCFN, so visitors could get general information and an overview about the Mbunza in German an English language as a small teaser for what can be expected during the visit.
A great experience was the singing and dancing and the warm farewell. I promised to come back soon and left the museum with a very good feeling about the fact that this cultural island at the banks of the Okavango river has developed in such a good way.
Please, feel free to write down your impressions and experiences you gathered while visiting “Living museums” here in Namibia.
Yours, Ralf from Tangermünde
Vorstand Living Culture Namibia e.V.