The Namibian Countenance

The Namibian Countenance

Born and raised in The Land of the Brave. I’ve lived my entire life in Namibia and it has become a fundamental part of my being. You see, when you breathe Namibian air, eat Namibian food, converse with Namibian people and experience Namibian kindness every day for eighteen years, it becomes as much a part of you as the blood in your veins. But how does Namibia inspire her children?

Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. A person without inspiration is like a country without people. It is the essential urge we possess to crawl out of bed in the morning. To do more than what is expected from us. To do something great that no-one else has done. Inspiration in people is a glorious fire, much warmer and stronger than anything that might rival it, yet a vital and friendly fire that can be described as follows:

When you search “Namibia” on Google Images, the most notable images are that of stunning sunsets and daring dunes, the culturally unique Ovahimba and the majestic lions. And with one effortless Google search, I realized something I’ve always subconsciously known: The three things about Namibia that inspire me are the amazing landscapes, the beautiful tribes and the purely African wildlife. These three seemingly basic, but utterly important characteristics are what inspires me every day. This is what sets Namibia apart from all the other countries in the world.

It is far too easy to be overwhelmed and dumbfounded by Namibia’s visual features. The diverse collection of landscapes formed by unforgivingly alluring landforms. A vast ephemeral pan, set amid red sand dunes: Sossusvlei, silently and separately, conducting an act of soliloquy. I live for experience, and there are few activities in life that equate to the joy of storming down a lava-like dune with your legs barely keeping up. A certain kind of freedom that one cannot describe satisfactorily. North-West of the capital lies a mysterious and treacherous coast lurking and brewing with bloodlust. As Areias do Inferno,The Sands of Hell, as the early Portuguese sailors baptized it. The Skeleton Coast is blessed with a threatening beauty, and humans have always been attracted to this kind of allurement.Dead ships, rocky shallows and magnificent dunes inhabit the Skeleton Coast. These landscapes gushing with beauty inspire me and amplify my love for Namibia.

Cultures, tribes and ethnic groups are the eyes of Namibia. Eyes, just like the ethnic groups of Namibia, are the first thing you notice about a person, or a country for that matter. Emotions, attitudes and even moral values radiate powerfully through this visual system. For that reason, Namibia has the most exquisite eyes with vivid and vibrant colours pleasing any onlookers. Outsiders are astonished by the heterogenous population of our country, each distinctive tribe joining hands with another unique tribe, making Namibia a stunningly light-hearted society. We welcome each other’s flaws, rejoice in each other’s strengths and forgive past wrongdoings. This Edenic environment is something that many neighbours and friends of Namibia yearn to have and it is one of my proudest inspirations.

Land of the Brave. We live among the five biggest and most indomitable animals in the world, The Big Five. I often think that is why we are called the Brave. Namibia’s wonderful wildlife is another characteristic that inspires me. Seeing any of the Big Five in the flesh is a magical adventure that will indefinitely leave one in awe. My family and I once camped at Okaukuejoin The Etosha National Park. Extremely early one morning we were awakened by the daunting roar of a male lion. The dominant roar felt like the lion was only no more than 50 meters away. Petrified, we sat in the unsafe safety of our thin polyester tents. Conversing with fellow campers later that morning revealed that this lion was in fact a couple of kilometres away. That day, at the age of 12, I realized that our country is blessed with an unimaginable amount of thrilling wildlife that we should cherish and be thankful for every day.

Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. You see, when you breathe Namibian air, eat Namibian food, converse with Namibian people and experience Namibian kindness every day for eighteen years, it becomes as much a part of you as the blood in your veins. Namibia, you are the blood in my veins, the inspiration in my being.

Benna van der Walt

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