Celebrating East African Writing!
I love my country like you will not believe. It is absolutely where my heart resides. But the corruption and lack of accountability is just atrocious.
Do you want to know the real reason Namibians choose to relocate and not come live at home until they are much older?
Because the government thinks it’s okay to build a new parliament building worth 700 MILLION DOLLARS! While the public hospitals still look like a segment out of a horror movie.
Because as a young student straight from varsity I can’t afford rent, let alone afford to buy a plot. Notwithstanding the fact that nepotism and celebrity status can get you a cheap plot these days.
Because a braai pack of chicken costs eighty Namibian dollars. Like seriously, when I saw that in the shops the other day, I put my shopping cart back and left without buying anything.
There is no accountability, not in government nor parliament. The average person can’t afford to live the life they desire for themselves because the standard of living is so high. People with authority are always looking at what’s best for them. How they can benefit. And it is so heartbreaking. Yes, other African countries are also corrupt but at least they admit it and have some safeguards in place to prevent it.
What is left for the young people of Namibia after all of the old veterans and freedom fighters have suckled all of the fresh milk from our countries bosom? What is it that I have to look forward to when I return home from my studies? Besides debt, landlessness and being asked to vote for leaders that have never considered how their actions might be affecting the rest of the country…not just their pockets…
…These are the types of thoughts I have when I zone out.
I’ve always been really reserved but the thoughts in my head are like a swarm of bees trying to fit into a very small hive.
My room is a mess. I’m trying to pick out an outfit for tonight but to be honest, I’m secretly dreading it. My favourite show Nu Generations is on in the background but I’ve stopped paying attention after my favourite character, Rujheko’, left. I wonder what happened to her.
I’ve been trying to deny it for so long but the reason I liked her so much is because I could relate to her. Typical Zimbo girl, constantly hustling to make her life better for herself. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve always secretly wanted to become an actress…or a model even. Imagine me on the big screen like Zukiswa Nyameka. I wish…
Og aye wani, okuliponje Nale?! He’s already outside. That’s one of the reasons I hate dating older men, they are always on time. I better grab a few condoms just in case.
It’s times like these that I really wish my mom was still alive. I don’t want to go clubbing with old men. I want to go watch a movie at the cinema, maybe grab a drink and hang out with other kids my age. Sit around talking about politics and the socioeconomic situation in Darfur. I know stuff you know. But he doesn’t want to hear about my thoughts or share his deep dark secrets. All he wants is a fresh young thing to keep him company and to keep his bed warm at night when his wife is away. I wonder if she knows about me… I should go get tested…
Sigh. I’m still consumed by my thoughts as I walk down the stairs. People tell me I should be ashamed. But how else was I going to pay for rent, food, my tuition fees in South Africa even?! If it’s okay for him to use me, why isn’t it okay for me to use him?
Tears swell in my eyes as I reach the bottom of the stairs. But I hold them back as best I can. I can’t let him see me like this and I won’t give the universe the satisfaction. Just one more year Ndahafa…ust one more year and you can run away and never come back.
A young girl with an Afro rushes past me as I try to pull myself together. I get a slight pang in my chest at the sight of her. I’ve always wondered what it was like to have natural hair. To be able to be myself completely without having to worry about whether people will treat me differently… Whether MEN will treat me differently.
But I’m Namibian. And Namibian women are gorgeous. If I don’t keep up with the Brazilian hair and make-up and high heels… I shake my head vehemently. I don’t want to think about it. I let out a loud audible sigh, take my compact mirror out of my bag and tune my long flowing weave, nxa. I look hot but I feel like an absolute monster on the inside, like my whole life is a facade. I suppose you can say I’m an actress in my own way. But unlike the actors on the Telly, the world is my audience and whichever man I’m dating at the time my director.
“My size! Ongeipi kaadona kange“, he greats me loudly through the window of his Range Rover as he stares at me hungrily.
I flash him my million dollar smile and try to fake a twinkle in my eye. I’m in my element. I flick my long flowing Virgin Brazilian hair the way he likes it and climb into the front seat.
“Hi nunukims”, I kiss him on the cheek “onawa ngwe ongiini?”
And we’re off…
By: Tungeumbo Nashitati
Tungeumbo Nashitati is a young vibrant poet from Windhoek, Namibia.
She began writing poetry at the age of 13 and has since been an ambassador for HIV and AIDS awareness with the Walvis Bay corridor group of Namibia as well as having been published in multiple anthologies within SADC.
She enjoys writing and reciting poetry as well writing Short African stories for which she has won multiple Commonwealth awards.
Tungeumbo believes that writing and poetry have a way of influencing society both positively and negatively and prefers writing conscious provocative pieces that make people think.
Although she is of Nambian decent she also grew up and studied in South Africa which she admits has also influenced her work.