Tanzania is set to host an international cultural tourism festival aimed at conserving, and sustaining four African languages and culture, which are on verge of extinction in the face of rising modernity, organizers said Tuesday.
The festival which will be held in September, this year in Haydom, a rural town in Manyara region north of Tanzania, has been organized by Four Corners Cultural
Festival (4CCF) in collaboration with the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB).
Nelson Faustine, project officer of 4CCP, and one of the organizers of the annual cultural event said: “This year’s cultural celebration is all about sharing traditional lifestyles, unity, and sharing storytelling through dancing, drumming and singing.”
He, however, said they have chosen Hydom as a venue for the event because it is the cultural melting pot centre, in which the four popular ethnolinguistics African tribes meet.
“These are the Bantu, Khoisan, Nilo-Saharan and the Afro-Asiatic. In the neighbourhood the Bantus are represented by Waisenye, Wanyiramba and Wakimbu from Singida region; the Khoisan is represented by Hadzabes.”
“While Datogas represent Nilo-Saharan and the Afro-Asiatic family is represented by the Cushitic Iraqw, locals based in the Haydom sprawling rural and laid-back town.”
He said that the four languages are on verge of extinction in the face of rising modernity in Tanzania and Africa at large.
“That’s why we’re meeting to among other things, discuss on how to preserve them for tourism and future generation.”
“We want also to use the event as a platform to address issues related to education, environmental conservation, health and community development in a broader perspective …we’ve invited local and international leaders and policy makers at the important event,” said Nelson.
Paul Fissoo, manager for tourism services, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) also described the September Haydom Cultural Tourism Festival as an important avenue for Tanzania to showcase the country’s cultural tourism treasure.
“We view the event as a way of promoting a culture of the area and eventually encourage domestic tourism in the country,” Fissoo said, adding that the event is expected to bring on board hundreds of participants from Tanzania and the rest of the world.
TTB spokesman Geoffrey Tengeneza described the festival as key towards promoting Tanzania’s cultural tourism.
The festival, according to him, will also help to lift spirits and bring about hope and optimism into understanding the world of culture and part of their heritage.