Jetting into Windhoek


Sbu Mjikeliso The time is 18h09 sharp. I am hovering around the Windhoek International Airport. All sorts of thoughts are running through my head. How are the people here? Have they ever heard of ChÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Guevara? How’s the food? What are the women like? And most importantly, how rough is their toilet paper? At 18h25, I start making my way to collect my luggage. Someone should have warned me to reserve an hour’s worth of patience because that is the time it took for me to receive my bag. I was tensing up with never-ending illusions of my bag getting lost. My Real Madrid jersey! I can’t afford to lose my Real Madrid jersey! It has been a week now since my near encounter with the Lost and Found department at the airport. I came here thinking that Windhoek would resemble South African rural areas and that the only traffic jams I’d get would be if a herd of cows was crossing the street, shepherded by a traffic officer dressed in an orange coat. Boy, was I proved wrong! Here, I discovered that it is not impossible to find a clean capital in Africa. The streets are so clean that they deserve a sign that says: “Shoes Off, Please. You Are Now Entering Windhoek”. On a Tuesday evening, Gauteng commuters are still stuck in traffic exercising their ability to use foul language, or should I say showing their inability to expand their vocabulary. In Windhoek, however, people are already tucked in nicely in their households, enjoying whatever it is they enjoy in the evening. Into the newsroom, I went the following day. The sight looks familiar and almost clichÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©d. Ashtrays filled with cigarette butts, stacks of paper towering on every desk, phones ringing on the hook and wait, is that a bottle of…whew! False alarm. After a few days of featuring in and out of the front page, I took time out to meet the locals and find out more about the sub-culture that the mainstream media conceal. I met a few interesting people while indulging in some heated debates about who’s going to win the AFCON (African Cup of Nations) and whether or not KÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚ kÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚  is better that Ronaldhino. There are a few things that I learnt from that experience. Firstly, no country speaks or could ever speak more Afrikaans than Namibia. Even the Afro-centric community indulge in this language, which is apparently “dying” in South Africa. Secondly, I wasn’t wrong when I told my friends in South Africa that blacks are the same no matter where you go. They still have shebeens, they still wear sunglasses indoors and at night and they even have a Soweto nog al. Besides being the cleanest city I’ve ever visited and housing a clan of women who are very pleasant to the eye, Windhoek is a very nice small city but big town. It definitely silences all those South Africans who think that every time you travel north of South Africa, all you will find are bundus and veldt. Except rubbing some government officials up the wrong way, I think I have adjusted very well. But there isn’t much adjusting to do; there is a lot of South African influence in this town. But then again that’s just my opinion. Sien julle next time! Ciao. Eewa!