WINDHOEK — I was driving around the lokasie when I passed by this one business place in da Tura with the sign “Risky Garage”. I know some of you have only seen such weird names in the North where business tates are notorious for naming their ongeshefa (business) “Three Sister Sitting in Beer Garden”, “Chips Hotel” or “Strugel for Love”. It doesn’t matter whether the spelling is correct as long there is a name to it. After all, it’s about the people.
I didn’t stop by the garage, but the name stuck in my head. That is when it dawned on me that actually the owner had a point for giving his business that name. I mean, our lives in constant risk from conception; we live like we step on landmines one after another. Sometimes they explode and sometimes they wait a little longer to explode.
Let’s start with conception. If you are not born yet and you are still kicking in your mommy’s tummy, the risk that you may not see the outside world is high. Your drunken toza (father) will deny that he fathered you or he will beat your zalie to a pulp so that she can tell the “truth” who else she has been sleeping with.
After all, his trusted friend and drinking buddy, Tant Mina, has been telling him that your mommy has been seeing another kambeskiti (lover) behind his back even though she has never set foot out of the yard.
If your zalie reports the assault case to the police, chances that she will get assistance are slim. There will always be that one tired policeman at the charge office who will tell her there are no vehicles now and that they have just changed shifts. Then she will wait till the next morning, eventually give up and go back home for more beatings.
But if you are tough and still survive inside her tummy, your mommy could try to get rid of you by performing some backdoor miskraam (abortion) because if he doesn’t want you, then she doesn’t want you either.
Nine months after and you still survived after your zalie drank Jik, jumped from a cliff or tried to consume a whole bottle of Richelieu? Hmm … now it’s time for you, the stubborn little bug, to come into this world. But wait, your mommy doesn’t have decent medical aid or the money to deliver you in one of those fancy hospitals like Medi-City or Rhino Park.
So, there you race with your zalie in a taxi to Katutura or Central State Hospital. The chance that you will see this world is still very slim - you haven’t met the devil in the white dress! While you are pushing to come out, your zalie is getting all the life lessons that she missed in Voorligting (Life Skills) class in Standard Three (Grade 5) while the white-dressed lady chews gum, talks to her friends on the phone and rolls her eyes at your mommy but doesn’t lift a finger to help. After all, if animals can give birth by themselves why can’t she? She didn’t tell your zalie “to do the do”.
Yes! Finally, you are here. Sweet little bundle, but don’t get too comfortable now. Your zalie is still angry that you survived. She could be planning to bury you in hole somewhere in her backyard where Spottie could dig you out and eat you.
Luckily some Samaritan chased Spottie away and saved you. Here you are 20 years later fighting over a smelly goat-head at some dumping site.