Culture Namibia

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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Namibia

Namibia : Discover the country's culture


"Desert Adventure: In Search of Wilderness in Namibia and Botswana" by Paul Augustinus.
"Places in the Sand" by Margaret Courtney-Clarke.



Botswana and Namibia -Lonely Planet ed. .
Namibia (The Bradt Travel Guide).


"Bushmen and Himba", by Bushmen and Himba.

Namibia : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

The San nomads (Bushmen) were the first inhabitants of Austral Africa. Their presence would go back to several tens of thousands of years.
2,600 years ago, Khoikhoi shepherds migrated to Namibia. Then, about 2,000 years ago, Bantu peoples come from the North, settled on the plateaus. White people arrived much later.
1484, Portuguese Diego Cao docks in Cape Cross, followed in 1487 by Bartolomeu Dias, who berths in the region of Lüderitz.
XVIIc, Dutch sailors from Cape Town (South Africa) sail up, along the coast.
1750, the way to Namibia is open by Jacobus Coetse. The Cape Town hunter goes all the way across the Orange territory and opens the way to White hunters, merchants and missionaries.
XIXc, evangelisation and creation of the missions. Khoisans and Hereros are at war.
1878, Britain annexes Walvis Bay.
1884, Lüderitz becomes a German protectorate, on April 24th. "Protection treaties" are signed with some of the ethnic groups. The region is later called South West Africa. The German colonial administration take all their possessions off the Namibians.
1904, conflicts break out between the Namas, Hereros and Ndongas. German General Lothar Von Trotha declares: "Every Herero, whether armed or unarmed (...) will be shot". Tens of thousands of Hereros die, exterminated or chased away into the desert. The survivors experience concentration camps or hard labour.
From 1908 to 1914, diamond is discovered near Lüderitz. Economic development, building of railways and cities.
1915, British and South African troops occupy South West Africa.
1919, after World War I, the League of Nations (ex UN) make it a mandate territory governed by Britain... who entrust it to South Africa. The expropriation of Black farmers goes on, in favour of White South African farmers. This is how the "homelands" started - the ghettos for Black people. Setting of a regime based on racial segregation, inspired by South African apartheid.
1966,the UN put an end to the South African mandate on South West Africa. The SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) begin armed fighting. The conflicts for independence lasted until 1989, date when elections took place, won by the SWAPO.
1990, independence of Namibia, on March 21st. Samuel Nujoma, SWAPO's leader, is the first president elected democratically.
1994. Elections won by the SWAPO.
2000. Redistribution of the land leaves many people frustrated. White farmers get 44% of farmable land.
2001. Agrarian reform crisis. AIDS is a devastating problem in Namibia (13% of the children under 15 years of age were orphaned in 2006).
2002. The government boycotts "The Namibian", only press to question the establishment.
Present day. Samuel Nujoma still is head of state and Theo-Ben Gurirab, prime minister since 2002.

Namibia : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events


January 1st : New Year's Day.
March 21st: Independence Day.
April-May: Windhoek Carnival.
April: Easter Holidays.
May 1st: Labour Day.
May 4th: Cassinga Festival.
May 25th: Day for Africa.
August 26th: Herero Day.
November: Enjando Street Festival.
December 11th: Human Rights Day.
December 25th: Christmas Day.
December 26th: Family Day.

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