A brief history of Namibia


This morning marked the beginning of our classes with Martha. Over the course of January we will be learning about a history of Namibia – a history because everyone experienced this history from their own personal perspective which has distinct differences depending on whether you were Black, White, or Coloured, whether you were female or male, and whether you were raised in the war zone or the police zone. In Namibia, colonialism didn’t begin until the late 1800s but the remnants of it last to this day. Germans took ‘their’ piece of the African map in 1884. This ‘need’ to colonize was based on an internal belief that they as whites were the superior race due to Social Darwinism and Eugenics- both are theories that have been disproven and also motivated the Holocaust- and an external desire to prove that they as a country had assets which lend value. To Europe, a colony was like a brand-new Birken bag.

After World War I the colonies were stripped from Germany and Namibia was given to British South Africa under a protectorate because they were thought to be incapable of governing themselves. Under the rule of South Africa, Apartheid was instilled, a massive system of segregation that made the Jim-Crowe South look like child’s play. It was as if the Trail of Tears, Jim Crowe, and the civil war were all happening at the same time and to be black was the worst. Apartheid lasted for decades and didn’t give any opportunities for growth to those who were black and so when Apartheid ended it didn’t really end because whites and blacks were still segregated, except now it was by economic class. Now, Namibia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and yet they have the greatest wealth disparity of any of them.

In the afternoon we returned to the mall for last-minute shopping needs. I bought sandals for US$20 because forgetful me forgot to bring my Tevas. The puma sandals I purchased aren’t great, but they’ll do until the package my parents are sending arrives with my Tevas in them as well as a few other necessities I didn’t think to pack or were too heavy for me to pack. We went to dinner at the Italian restaurant in the Grove Mall, Col’Cacchio. The spinach gnocchi was affordable and was better than anything I could make back in the kitchen, but it made me miss truly amazing Italian food from some of the restaurants back home.

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