A thousand words is enough to paint a vivid picture, but a thousand words are too few to do justice to this beautiful country Namibia. One that is bursting with inspiration.
Born and raised in Namibia, I have been exposed to plenty my country has to offer. What inspires me most is… everything! Namibia is a diverse country, everything about it is so deeply varied it’s hard to just like one factor, yet they all come together complementing one another to make it an awe-enthused country. Namibia gives life to passionate people. People like our forefathers who fought during the liberation struggle so that we live in the freedom we now enjoy.
They were willing go to great lengths to achieve success in what they believe in. Showing that success is a harvest reaped only if you sow seeds of dedication, hard work and an abhorrence towards failure and giving up. Growing up is a very fragile stage in one’s life and what you make of your surroundings determines what kind of person you are to become. Katutura, the suburb in which I grew up, with its high crime and unemployment rate, does not have much that can be considered tasteful to the tongue. However it is filled with many icons, and they take their stand against racism and injustice as well as all other impurities of the world. They let their voices known no matter how minor they may seem.
They tap into their raw talents turning them into careers. These are the Namibian people. Both acknowledged and unsung heroes, though they have never met one another, they all grew up under the same Namibian sun which has instilled in them a quality that defines a Namibian. The quality of selflessness.
It is the same quality that allowed them to fight, not for themselves, but so the generations that are to come do not have to fight as hard. It is the quality that inspires me to never give up on what I believe in, to never settle for less than my dreams offer and to always think about the next person. The oppression that we were faced with in the past has made us unsatisfied with just being employed, it has us going out of our ways to become the employers.
Being an aspiring novelist, I hardly run out of scenery to describe. Namibia is blessed with breathtaking beauty. Be it the more appraised Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the world or the seemingly insignificant twilight that gives you an intense appreciation for the wonders nature has given us. We are grateful for nature’s blessings of wildlife, we showed our gratitude by being the first country in the world to incorporate environmental protection in our constitution.
Namibia gets its name from the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts with some of the highest sand dunes in the world. Very biodiverse that we are one of two countries to have desert elephants and we have the largest population of free roaming cheetahs as well as black rhinos. With Windhoek being crowned the cleanest city in Africa for about 5 years in a row, the country oozes a pride and excellence that is hard to not soak in and make your own.
We are a country that stays true to our culture. Our heritage implanted in various museums for all eyes to see that we are not afraid to be who we are. “Local is lekker” directly translated to local always being the best, there’s no doubt about it, when all the other countries are trying so hard to fit in, Namibia is insistent on standing out, a great example is our traditional themed restaurants such as the well-known Xwama.
The styling of our hair, even our dress code is referenced back to culture by our home brewed designers, and our music, a melodious tale of our past, present and future rooted in culture. We are a meat loving nation, no one misses the opportunity to get some of the local deliquesce called Kapana otherwise known as braai-with a Namibian touch! A nation with a small population and 13 different ethnic groups.
Yet, when you ask us to define culture we don’t categorize it by tribes, our unity is our strength. Being rooted in culture however doesn’t prevent us from evolving. It allows us to use technological advances as complementary to our growing selves, both individually and as a united front. Evolving from the past is slow paced, but nothing we cannot handle. We view everyone as equals this is a strong factor in our development. Jobs are given according to qualification, not gender. This gives birth to the growth of powerful and strong Namibian woman.
What makes Namibia is not the large acres of land, but the people and animals that are part of it. Although shouldering a harsh and painful past, we are a forgiving nation. Always looking to what lies ahead. We do not strive for vengeance. Visitor or national we love peacefully and equally. Welcoming everyone into our humble nest to come and experience the true joy and satisfaction embedded within us. We take time, never being haste. To get precision in all we do. We care for our own and try to uplift each other so no one is left behind in our advances.
The Harambee prosperity plan is evidence of our efforts to build our country into a prosperous one. We do not walk blindly into the future, at risk of being blown into any direction by the harsh winds. We set our eyes on a prize and work to achieve it. We have vision.
Selflessness, confidence, diversity, beauty, honesty and the aspirations that radiates from it are just a handful of the inspirational aspects the country holds. We possess ambition and work hard to reach the goals we have set, but do not forsake our identity. This is what inspires me and makes me a proud Namibian.
By: Delila M.H Katanga