How many times have you ever thought of this question “Who or What inspires you in Namibia?” I know it might seem easy. However, trust me, it is not. Especially when your answer should be clear and honest, identifying something that has influenced your past and continuing to influence your future is honestly not easy. I have spent more than a week already brainstorming whom or what might be that thing. Because I do not want to give a random answer, I identified several criteria for what makes a person influential. I looked up the characteristics of influential things in my country and I found my country itself, its nature and its people, so great that I am proud to call Namibia my home sweet home.

Namibia is a land of villages and fields laden with farming activities which always reminds me of our cultures and where I came from, Oshandi Village, in Ohangwena region. I am proud of our villages from where the Namibian civilization has blossomed. Most of the great leaders of our country came from the villages.

While brainstorming I thought of my family. My family is very important to me; they have supported me through good and bad times and these are the people who strongly shaped me to be the person that I am today. I have a big family; I have three grandparents, my parents, four aunts, three uncles, ten cousins and six siblings. Out of my twenty eight family members, there is one I particularly look up to, my dad Philemon Shishiiveni. Because, despite the fact that we are not a wealthy family, my dad has always been by my side ever since.

School was not easy for him, for I saw him struggle and study for his examinations in the late 1990s. Even though his English speaking and reading skills were not too good, he managed to succeed and I am highly proud of him. While struggling to find a proper job of his career, my dad got a temporary position as a warrant officer at Oshakati military base. He always worked hard, saved every single penny he earned from his job and took care of everything in the house.

Apart from having given me the opportunity of getting the best school education possible, he would also teach me many important life skills by engaging me in many practical activities were I acquired multiple skills. He always encouraged me thus I would say he is not only my dad, my workmate, my friend, but a role model and I look up to his success. I will always strive to become just like him.

I still remember the day that my father sat next to me and said, “Son, the most important thing to help you become successful is to have respect, focus and listen to what elders have to say, it will not be a walk in a park son, but in the end it will be worth it”. Today I am a university student and a career-oriented young man because he never gave up on me when I wanted to give up on myself. I am lucky because he is my father.

When you’re young you are always told that anything is possible if you set your mind to it or at least that’s what my mom would always tell me. However, I started asking myself, who would I be in this world if it wasn’t for the land that I am living in today? Would I be having or be surrounded by amazing and caring people as I do today?, well, as much as I believe that the environment shapes people, I also believe it is because of Namibia that I am how I am today.

Namibia, the widest democracy and its oldest civilizations in all corners of its fourteen regions makes me feel so proud. We have several unique cultures, which have developed through the centuries. There is so much diversity among us, we speak different languages but we have the same spirit, the spirit of Namibia, running through all parts of our country binding us together. We have great unity in prosperity and without any doubt; I see peaceful people with good natural habitat relationships, something that most countries I see on TV fail to fulfill. I see daily growth in my country.

We are courteous people. What I see when I wake up every morning is a country filled with hopes, dreams, accomplishments, fear and joys of the past and the present, I see ambitious people, people with great eager of achievements of all day all year.

Namibia is a country with beautiful climates and vegetation zones, from hot deserts to cold coast of the south, from beautiful green rivers to break landscapes and from one of the world’s largest mountain to flat plain of the northern part of the country. These are among the most attractive adventures in the world, and thus I say the land of the brave is just the best place ever.

My country has interesting lifestyles and I love it when I have the freedom to be in its different places. One moment you are in Walvis Bay, witnessing the world’s giant Dune 7, have great fun & view of the surrounding area while still respecting Mother Nature’s magnificent creations. And have peaceful resting at one of the country’s well-known cheap accommodation, (The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund). Another moment you witness the Christ Church, Ink Palace, before heading down into the township of Katutura (Windhoek city) to taste a local delicacies at the Single quoter’s open Market.

My country is full of a variety of opportunities and that is why when given the opportunity, I have no doubt that I can achieve my goals, because I am inspired to be ambitious, determined, dedicated, distinguished and respectful. Thank you Namibia, my motherland, the land of my family, the land that shaped my father and continues to inspire me.

By: Gabriel H Shishiiveni