At 27, Namibia has come a long way: Mimi Mwiya
Sometimes when people talk to me about Namibia, I may come off a bit harsh and with little praise. I think there are two reasons for that:
- Most people usually ask me about the serious things like politics and the economy. And I can barely keep myself from yawning. I am unable to have such serious conversations. I especially don’t think politics is for the fainthearted, and I’m very very fainthearted.
- Sometimes I feel a little like a parent who’s afraid to praise their child too much (yet) because they see just how much more the child could be, how much better they could do and will not let themselves and their child settle for just relative greatness.
However, I remember being at a hotel in Luanda a couple of years ago and ordering a passion fruit and lemonade. The waiter looked at me like I was asking for miracles, and the people I was with laughed at how spoiled Namibians are.
Now, even for most Namibians, a passion fruit and lemonade could be considered a luxury (this is where I usually get into my ‘with our resources and our population, it shouldn’t be’ arguments), but it’s incidents like that, that remind me just how good we have it in Namibia.
I would be gravely amiss if I did not laud Namibia for in only 27 years, having achieved an order that puts older nations to shame.
Mostly though, I love Namibia because she’s home.
She’s home to what used to be the cleanest city in Africa- it’s really hard to write that statement in past tense, I’m still not over the fact that we’ve been dethroned.
She’s home to the Zambezi region from which I hail, whose trees fascinate me and whose mighty waves of the river it was (re) named after bring me calm. She’s home to the Kavango river, whose shores my cousins and I wandered in search for the most secluded most beautiful part of the famous Rundu beach.
I love Namibia because she’s home to the scorching Namib dessert… and the calming coast just a stone’s throw away from it.
I love Namibia because she’s home to most of the streets that pave the story of me. I love Namibia because when I sing “contrasting, beautiful, Namibia” my heart swells with pride because I can point out the contrasts that make her; they are there in people, culture and experience. I love Namibia because she’s home to me and the ones I love!
At 27, we still have a long way to go and sometimes I fear age might be catching up with us, but I also cannot deny that we have come a long way.