I have travelled near and far. I have seen snow in Switzerland during spring and I have seen the white Portuguese beaches in the sunny Algarve. I have experienced the magnificent lights of New York City in Christmas and I have lazed upon handwoven hammocks in Zanzibar. All of these places beautiful and unique, but none like the beautiful country which I am privileged enough to call my home: Namibia. Nowhere do the stars shine as brightly as they do in the Solitaire region.
The celestial bodies make you feel anything but solitary. The stars make out the chandelier that light up the night and serve as a roof over the head of every single living creature and person. Chasing satellites across this magnificent illumination is like looking for a rose in the desert, hard to find, but not nearly impossible. Like the Namibian sky, the Namib Desert also stretches on with no end. Not quite sure where it begins and not quite sure where it ends, but a beauty nonetheless. Nowhere in the world is such a delicate ecosystem. So wholly unique and utterly terrifying. Where a golden sun watches over you with its one eye, glaring and watching over everything you do. It’s just you, the desert and the glowing sun.
The Namibian child has learned to co-exist with the heat. No longer are shoes required to run across mountains and no longer is it a necessity to wear a jacket at night. Running as fast as you can, with the wind close behind you, nipping at your feet, you become freedom itself. You close your eyes and you are certain that your next step will send you flying.
There is nothing holding you back. You are free to be whoever and whatever you want to be. A land of opportunity. The land of milk and honey. Culture is something Namibia can be proud of and diversity is something we can boast about. A stranger is always willing to meet your smile with a friendly face. The police High Commissioner is visiting churches and the President is visiting the poor.
The strong are helping the weak to become the backbone of this nation. Growing up in small Tsumeb, living in an even smaller apartment atop my father’s butchery, I know that Namibia is a country that offers equal chances to grow and to learn if you are willing to work hard enough. Trees that burn red when the flowers finally bloom in spring and taking long walks in the freezing winter. Barefoot were the soles of my shoes and carefree was the new way of thinking. Windhoek provided us with friends of every colour and kind.
Kind will also be the word I’ll use to describe these wonderful, loving people. Smiles that can brighten your day and eyes that shine as bright as the stars in the sky. Every single star in the sky trapped and glistening in the eyes of every Namibian. The stars in the Namibian sky is each and every one us who are fearless enough to live in such a raw, natural and magnificent country.
We are the lights that guide the way and we are the roof of this wonderful nation. We are suns and we are moons. We chase across the sky like satellites and we fall to the Earth as flaming shooting stars, where we will once again, hopefully, come to rest on the soil of the beautiful Namibia.
by Esmarie Boshoff