Da-Dum Da-Dum, like a heart beat. That is how loud my heart beat, when I entered Nascent Namibia Headquarters today. Long awaiting, but finally home. May I hug you all? And thank you. A song, a workshop, an article, all about Nascent. Pleaaase! Because I can’t anymore. I… Da-Dum Da-Dum… Beep Beep Beep Beep Times up. Oh Dear…
A few weeks ago, I was in Kenya. I heard the drums like never before. Drummers played effortlessly, with big instruments. Some drums were tallest things ever made. I stood still, and danced, amazed by the whole creation. On the left, a line of cow skin hanging on the outside of a thin stick. Middle, perfectly round, perfectly bigger than original size drum, wrapped in geranium, with adjustable skin beaters. Right, diamonius and glitter filled drums, with animal skin beaters, and colorful glass and plastic pieces. Adjustable! And, open to experimentation! I have a Kitenge drum now! Every woman I taught what drumming was, has one, and my friend J. is one. Dang Soltane. I know, you are wondering what this has to do with Nascent Namibia, or the very first entry in this Blog. So, let’s jump waist deep into End Song.
My “Chrysler Van” is actually a Skoda. I can’t drive stick,and I am learning to drive a manual… How do you also say that? Please make sure it is right! This Skoda model is recommended to everyone who can actually make it work, with a stick slip, getting up sand dunes, and crossing rivers. It is tall, radiator stuck in the air, with four different gears. The cashier at the registration office laughed at me. “What is this Skoda doing in Windhoek?” He kept saying, while the official added it up in tsek. I replied, only used for petering to and from the farm, in rainy seasons.
Today, I experienced one of these wet seasons for what I think maybe the first time in Namibia: It had literally poured, almost every day for a week. Hence, my current season was literally “WKS” (Western Kavango Season), till I purchase a car and drive the long, red, long drive down the East to see what the heck’s this about. But, so far, it’s a very rainy season, with a sheer grey sky over Windhoek, and water and breeze as the outside texture of all daily walks. Ill even get sick, as one Swedish and one German traveller I bumped into, complaining of “thre top”, running and high fever, when it only rained!
Taking the local and comfortable fare to the airport, I decided to take the bypass at LUDWIG and, so to say, jump in before they find out I am no longer a foreigner. (That Kott kafil to Florida store, outside my farm, was robbed on Monday, mail men shot at and an M.O.N.A happened for a week. Hijackers drifted in and out, and police on alert.) LUDWIG was literally deserted, no people or cars, only waving mango and guava trees, and music wafting through the emptiness . . . ? I listened. Only, I didn’t hear a thing an how could this be good? I looked around, impressed with the immense beauty, till I noticed a bank of grey/blue, stretched over several fields. Again, I thought, wrong with my ears. Music is not playing that badly. And, on top of it, where is everybody? No sign of anyone driving on the opposite lane of the road, just a few people walking, and those few cops, in blue uniforms walking the now empty street, with their eyes staring into space and their feet just walking through the wet soil back up the road. How-ee-ness, please!
Finally I found what I sought: local music and art. When I saw them back from the road, I stood stock still, because I didn’t think, that what I saw, was really there. Light blue living room, filled with easels and paintings. And, music was really coming from that building, it just wasn’t easy music, it was loud and complaining. Underground rock music. Teenagers, who looked different and frustrated, with their green eyes and big, big hair. I wanted beautiful, good music, enjoying and peaceful, like the ones I had in Jericho and Arefy today, after spend two hours in Police, trying to get them fired up. With a glare, and that puff of smoke that makes police, right on short notice like never before, four big cars stopped, orderly parked on the curb, driver side door wide open and vehicle door slightly open.
The police were sitting on 70s, green, plastic chairs, nervous and smoking, looking at their feet. They knew from my 20 questions, it was their fault that no one was watching the Radio Shop for a change and that the people over there aren’t easy to please. It is called “the hood”. The cop who shot into the air and off target a bit, disabled one of my airbags, to make it clear, where I should sit. Yet, he wasn’t there when I left! What a loser! A mystery! Double back from airport and hide out of reach of my phone? Why didn’t he confiscate my passport too?! I just wanted to go! Finally, it was obvious I wasn’t going anywhere, while they were sitting around and whispering to each other. Karina flew over to carry my fingerprints, stick a twist of bandaid on the broken airbag, listen to the police version of Monday’s fiasco, part accusing petrified youngster cowering behind her counter. Well, Naaw.
I did cross the road with an apple, when it came to that, skip to FBI and get these idiots out of my way… Loohhhs, they are almost in it until they can’t get out. Geez, three feet apart from their favorite place, under a tree, watching the never ending army of cars ripping down Lüderitz street on the way to MARAF GLEEKET. At first, the place was missing something and I complained about police fear to work here. But, as my bus mates left, there was a chance for me to see the land, see the taxi drivers and the buses blast by, to see the countryside from Mariental to Mine Dam village, and to gaze in pleasure over the hills, as the sun closed in on its greatest hit! (Collecting rays before dropping, at 6:15.) It seems, I was lucky and they didn’t accept money after all, instead they were waiting till the uhum, uhum, in the opposite lane open up, creating space for them, the owners of the roads, to nurse those cars speeding by, not caring, supposed to stop when white signal lights flash and we stand! (No Horn Please, they were not given thought in-between Western Kavango and Morubixiba rain season.)
And, all the pieces of this puzzle came together, to form rock music. This band of teenagers, that looked like the spawn of H. P. Lovecraft paintings, just had to rage and rage, all the reasons and reasons, why, there was no place for them except underground, in a small village called LÜDERIT KOUP. JAH! UFEC NYCEMLOEM. Fix their own instruments, finally and sing in the evening and play in the night till the morning. The eyes closed and singing to the skies, with creepy momentoes and scary moments. I stood still a long time, and thanked Allah for bringing Them for me to see, like Abraham and the Virgin Mary, who witnessed several mysteries in her life, laying witness now to the mysteries of “SOJAR-BOOTAL”, who neatly cleaned up the place the next morning, before the search started. Thanks to my car, which stopped again at evening. God, you got me too, after all your calling and I now understand metaphors, so “it be better from now”! Now, I have the only silver lining and earthly recognition, at the age of 49, to see, that the dreams of my youth and girlhood, which I revved at on the motorcycle when I hit the pedal, are still callingâ€¦
Case Study: Aeroball – Namibia’s return to international table tennis after decades.
Option A – English
Option B – German