When my friend Loux invited me to Namibia I did not hesitate to say yes. As I was sitting in the Air Namibia plane reading ‘Flamingo’ their in-flight magazine I came across these words “There are two kinds of people; those in love with Namibia and those who are yet to meet her”. Little did I know that I was going to fall in the former kind helplessly falling in love with Namibia as I continued to explore the parts that time afforded me to explore.
Arriving at the airport I found two people holding cards with my name waiting for me, that went to show how much care and love the Namibians have. After reaching consensus on who I was going to leave with we hit the road heading to Windhoek the cleanest city I have ever seen. I was not surprised to hear that Windhoek was voted the cleanest city in Africa. Exploring can leave one hungry so after exploring the city and doing errands, we headed to Katutura at the ‘Kapana’ (this is where they sell and braai meat and if you wish you can eat it from the stand). As a food lover I found so much delight at the Kapana.
Everyone I met was so kind and wanted to show me or teach me something about their beautiful Namibia. Finally I arrived at my host’s house and I met the most energetic 12 year old boy who was so eager to teach me ‘Ochivambo’ his home language and he would challenge me to a dance battle as my coming from South Africa fascinated him and he figured I could dance as well as the South African that he sees in the music videos. Later that evening I found me at the tailor’s place finishing off some suits and me even learnt how to make buttons. When people work they need food so of course ‘kapana’ was bought and we feasted as we continued to work till after midnight.
For my second day in Namibia we had decided to drive to Swakopmund earlier but we ended up leaving later during the night so I had some time to continue exploring the Capital. We walked around buying food and I found out that since it was month end everyone cooks or braais meat and sell to make some money. Obviously it was good news to me as we walked around buying everything from tripe to beef to chicken to fish. What is note-worthy is that in many of these households where they sell meat is that it is not usually accompanied by pap. I am used to eating my meat with pap or rolls or bread or any other form of starch. But the meat tasted good.
We finally left for Swakopmund and the prospect of being at the beach for the first time brought so much excitement to my already unsettled self. We drove through the night and arrived after midnight driving straight to Walvis Bay where we were to spend the night. The rising of the sun meant that I would finally get to spend some time at the beach. Before the beach we had to get ‘kapana’ and some soft drinks as we were preparing for the Namibian Annual Music Awards Industry awards that night. Feeling the freezing (maybe not so freezing water) on my feet was a very exciting feeling. Pity I cannot swim otherwise I would have dared the water. Falling of night meant that we had to get ready for the industry awards and everyone was dressed to impress. All kinds of industry and media personalities were there but most were really looking forward to the main awards.
At the awards I met lots of new friends that I am still in touch with and those that I did not get to talk to have made me promise to go back to Namibia. Which i have no problem with because I had lots of fun and the people are the best I have ever came across. My lesson on Namibia was not ended by me boarding the plane back to South Africa because the lady I sat next to on the plane continued to educate me about her people and gave me the names of the place that I should visit next time. There is a local saying: “Beware of the desert sand once it gets in your shoes, Namibia never leaves your heart”. I guess I am now attached to Namibia I am not complaining though because I am first and foremost an African child.