Growing up in the land of the brave

by Brownie

My grandmother’s house was right in the centre of the circle of her son’s and daughter’s, and she would wake me up early mornings during my school holidays with her familiar shrill voice we could hear all the way to ours. I would dread these mornings as I had to clean her entire house from top to bottom. Some mornings it was merely to bring her a glass of water or a cup of tea. Diving into her sweet garden situated five minutes from her house made it all worth it.

The women on the farm were responsible for a variety of duties which were common on farms tending to sheepnamibian-girl-sm and cattle, preparing the skins for sale, producing their own soaps and making local traditional foods like tribe and silk. The men were in the larger towns and cities and Friday evenings the farm would come alive again. Our fathers have returned.

Celebrations would commence with slaughtering a sheep, and as kids we would just stare at it.I remember feeling so sorry for the lambs, and my father would remind me of the eco system, that we breed them to eat them. This is survival. The big braai would commence in all glory, and the intestines would be the delicacy that everyone appreciates on a night like this. The farm would tune out all other worries that the country is facing and celebrate the ties that is family. Kids are running around and stories are shared around the camp fire, with laughter heard until the wee hours of the morning.

I did not fully appreciate the struggle that my fellow Namibians faced, I guess for the mix race community in Namibia avoiding issues are better than facing them. In some instances I can agree, but not when it becomes the norm.

Being in the middle could not have been easy I guess, as neither side accepted the mix.