Superstars Love Namibia

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By Frederick Philander SWAKOPMUND Marriage between superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is for the time being on the back burner because of their parental duties and their busyÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ºfilm careers in Hollywood. This emerged during a news conference yesterday, the first since they came to Namibia to give birth to their daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie Pitt. The one-hour press conference, from which the world press was excluded, was conducted by Leon Jooste, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism. Also present were First Lady Penexupifo Pohamba, the Minister of Gender Equality, Marlene Mungunda and Erongo governor Samuel Nuuyoma. “As parents, we will be eternally grateful to the Namibian people for having afforded us a peaceful place for our daughter to have been born and the many opportunities to have been able to explore this beautiful country, second to none in the world,” said proud first time father, Brad Pitt. To Angelina Jolie, daughter of actor John Voigt, Namibia is a very special place for the birth of her daughter, describing it as a peaceful birth. “I fell in love with Namibia during my stay in the country shooting a movie and I wanted to show Brad the beauty of the country. I think it’s a wonderful country for children to grow up in, one of my main concerns. I will also be supporting the First Lady in her projects with children,” said first-time mother Angelina. She promised that she and her family will return to Namibia. The family will be staying at the exclusive, well-guarded and reclusive Burning Shore resort at Langstrand between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Brad Pitt, having shown himself to be a very congenial father and person, made no bones about his newfound father status and proudly announced that Shiloh Nouvel will be a Namibian citizen with a Namibian passport. “I am very happy and delighted that my daughter was born and we couldn’t have chosen and afforded a more suitable and more peaceful place on this earth. Unfortunately too much focus and emphasis is put on negative things happening here and around the world. Furthermore, we had top-notch medical care and treatment during the birth of my child, something for which we will be eternally grateful,” an emotional Brad Pitt said. According to him, little Shiloh Nouvel already had a bounty on her head even before she was born. “Her safety and that of Angelina have been a priority throughout our enjoyable stay in the country. Its one of those things, though of course we wished for more freedom of movement. “The paparazzi had to be kept out,” said Pitt, and Angelina Jolie formally apologized for this in a light-hearted manner. “This is a beautiful and diverse country and one of the best kept secrets in the world until we arrived here,” said Brad Pitt jokingly informing the press about the wonderful time he and his family had had in the previous two months. Pitt was particularly impressed and attracted by Sossusvlei and Etosha. “I have recovered very quickly after the birth of our daughter and will soon be going back to work on my next movie, Oceans 13,” Angelina said. In supporting his decision to go back to work before the cameras, Angelina said she and the children will regularly visit him on the set. “Of course I will often bring Shiloh back to Namibia, but right now, we need to return home because my mother is dying to take her grand daughter into her arms. No god-parents have been nominated for our child,” Jolie of Lara Croft and Tomb Raiders fame said. Both Brad and Angelina, unaware of the vibrant Namibian theatre sector and fledgling film industry in Namibia, promised they would support such efforts in any way they possibly can. “Namibians working on film or theatre projects are more than welcome to tell us about them and we will see what we can do,” Angelina promised. During their stay, the couple donated N$315 000 to the two State Hospitals at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund as well as U$15 000 to a local school. Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Marlene Mungunda performed a traditional Nama ritual in her mother tongue wishing the newly born child well for the future and sang a song prior to her making a short speech. “This extraordinary baby girl was born for the glory of God and for the blessing of Namibia, a name that originates in the Nama language. Little Shiloh Nouvel, a daughter of the Namibian soil brought sunshine to our country and the African continent,” the minister said while lighting a candle.