The Dating Game!


Charles Tjatindi

In the past, people would write off a Herero like me for being unromantic, and lacking the qualities to make our loved ones feel special.

If all truth be told, we are the most romantic people after the Goroneka people of Tonaland* (*an unconfirmed tribe said to have existed in 1685 BC).

Legend has it that they would sacrifice a part of their body, such as an ear or leg every time their women shed tears of sadness. Due to their nomadic lifeslyle though, they all became extinct and ceased to exist.

All but one – the mighty Nordimus. He is said to have survived the evolution and ended somewhere in the Waterberg area.

There he met a Herero woman, and by the dawn of a new moon, fathered a healthy daughter. As to what happened after that daughter, history does not say, although some Ovaherero believe they see him on New Year’s Eve when they look up in the westerly direction.

Anyway, since we are said to be unromantic, I decided to use myself as a human guinea pig and put this notion to the test.

For the exercise to be foolproof, I needed to take out a completely new woman. I gave her carte blanche on choosing the venue – BIG mistake! At 7.10 pm, I pulled in at the refurshished Maerua Mall, and comfortably parked in a bay overlooking the bright lights of the city.

It didn’t bother me much that the car to the right of my Ford Cortina bakkie was a Land Rover, and the one to my left was a BMW X5.

Real beauty comes from the inside, I consoled myself.

That was, of cause, before recognising the two drivers as school buddies of mine! I rang my date to ask where I could find her.

“Cattle Baron,” she said, “I have a seat reserved for you. Just let the waiter direct you.”

Cattle Baron, I thought – now that should be a place every Herero would feel at home.

I found my way to the Cattle Baron and met my date.

In a few minutes, the waiter showed up with the menu. I quickly ran my eyes down the list of strange names, looking for something meatish. I had to contend with a cooked ham, in monkey gland sauce. Yack!

The challenge of the evening was the conversation. I knew very little about 50-Cent’s latest release. I also had no idea who Cool-James aka the Horrible was. To add insult to injury, I had to fork out N$250 for the night.

Man, Herero Mall has never been that unfair to me!

When we left to go home, she mistakenly waited by the BMW. Finding out that I drive a 1983 model Ford Cortina was just the last straw for her. Because it was late, she decided to drive with me anyway. That was of cause only as far as the Windhoek Showgrounds.

My Cortina has been giving me problems with the exhaust and was consuming fuel like crazy.

She rolled her white eyes, and looked at me. “Well, can you fix it?’ Two minutes later she slammed the door and walked towards the road, signalling directions as she talked on her cell.

By the time I took out my trustworthy 5-litre container from the back of my car to get fuel, some imported SUV slowed down and she got in. I watched as the SUV disappeared into the darkness. That’s when it dawned on me – I, like any other Herero I know failed the dating game. Just like that. Mbuae, these things are tough. I started my Cortina after walking back and forth to the service station, and raised the volume of the front loader to Joseph Kauandenge’s grammy nominated “Mbakotoka”. Eewa. Just what I needed!


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