I have lived in Namibia my entire life and finished my school career in Windhoek, where I did one year in African Performance Development at ‘College of the Arts’ before I made the decision to study in Cape Town.
Namibia is a beautiful country with great people. The land is rich and the people are welcoming but just like every other country, we also have our downfalls. Being a Coloured in Namibia, for instance, is rêrag anne levels.
In Namibia, we have Basters and Coloureds and if you call either one the other, you’re going to get the longest speech ever. I remember this was specifically because, in Namibia, we had a reputation for being people without any culture. Of course, this was just my perception.
It is only when I moved to Cape Town -in 2014- that I realised being Coloured meant something. That it had significance. Back home Coloureds didn’t and still don’t really understand their identity, this made it hard for me personally to understand who I am.
I never really fit in as a Namibian Coloured because I didn’t have the same background. I was very sheltered as a child and the whole Baster/Coloured thing confused me. Other kids told me that my standards were too high, or “jy hou jou duk” because I wanted things a certain way. This didn’t bother me because I never wanted to be like everyone else.
Moving to Cape Town was like a breath of fresh air, I felt more me than ever. I made amazing friends (who I now consider family) and I found my identity. I’ve learnt a valuable lesson and that is to listen. This was the hardest thing for me to do, trust me!
In the six years that I’ve been in Cape Town, I have learnt more about my identity, than in the 18 years I lived in Namibia. The moral of the story is, I needed to leave so I could find myself. I needed to look at my 18 years in detail to understand the intricacy of who I am and how I could improve.
Today I am extremely proud of my journey and I try my best to never push my opinion onto someone else. I laugh louder than the rest and I have learnt that what I surround myself with is very important for my mental well-being.
We all have stories, we all have a past, but all of us also have the present, which is a gift, and what we do with this gift determines our future. Be proud of your individuality, it’s what sets you apart.