|Racist demands ‘removal’ of girl from Children’s Carnival|
|Written by Floris Steenkamp|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2012 21:56|
The organising committee of the Swakopmund Carnival, best known to locals and people abroad as the Küska, recently turned down a member of the public’s request that a black girl be banned from taking part in the Children’s Carnival.The person is reported to have taken exception to the girl’s participation, based purely on her skin colour and demanded her removal.
“Yes we had a person who was complaining about the black girl’s participation, but we turned down the request she be removed,” the Chairman of the Küska organising committee, Horst Heiser, confirmed to Informanté this week.
The girl was allowed to participate, said Heiser, adding that although the Küska is a German festival it will never exclude people, based on their skin colour or cultural origin. It helps though to master the German language to a certain degree to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the Küska [and for that matter also similar festivals across Namibia like the Windhoek Carnival (Wika) and Lüderitz (Lüka)].
“We have many non-white and non-German people supporting the Küska for many years already and we value their support”, Heiser said. He was making specific reference to the fact that the Mayor of Swakopmund is the guest of honour at the Prinzenball every year and also conducts the annual ceremonial handing over of the town’s key to the carnival community. The different events are supported by many non-German speaking people, including the general public that turns out every year to marvel at the float procession.
The Namibian Navy’s brass band also supports the Küska every year during processions, serving as another example of people from different cultural origins cooperating to make the Küska an annual highlight on the social calendar of Swakopmund and that without any racial prejudices.
Heiser confirmed the person who made the complaint over the black girl is not involved in the Küska and handed his complaint to the sub-committee coordinating the Children’s Carnival. This sub-committee handed the complaint over to the main organising committee, chaired by Heiser, where the request to exclude her from participating in the Children’s Carnival was summarily turned down.
“This year all the proceeds of our ladies’ evening are donated to C.H.A.I.N., a charity doing so much for Namibian children who are physically challenged,” Heiser explained, adding that Küska is proud to make a difference in the existence of charitable organisations each year.