Amazing Namibian Women is a project that aims to celebrate women in the Namibian society, in their diversity of backgrounds, roles and achievements. The project was conceptualized and organised by Kleopas Nghikefelwa together with the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), and has received crucial support from the Namibian Airports Company (NAC). According to Annapaula Vakamuena, the Communications and Marketing officer of NAGN, a total of 21 Amazing Namibian Women were selected for the project, from which artists could select who to portray. “Artists were invited to create portraits in any medium: paint, photography, print, digital or mixed media,” she said.
The women selected range from ‘celebrity’ status, to the less ‘well-known’ figures in Namibian society, all of whom are equally amazing in their contributions to their communities. The various backgrounds and fields of these women include: civil-rights activists, doctors, writers, entrepreneurs, politicians, performers, teachers, models, social workers and many more. Some of the selected Amazing Namibian Women are Katrina Hanse- Himarwa, Helena Ndume, Dillish Mathews, Kovambo Nujoma, Lize Ehlers, Michelle McLean, Saara Rudd, Maria Nepembe, Hilda Basson-Namundjebo and Elizabeth Ikaxas to mention a few.
“This project, however, acknowledges that there is a wealth of amazing women in Namibia beyond the list, and in order to ensure that they can all be recognized and acknowledged, the NAGN invites viewers to add the names of these women to the black-board during the exhibition,” said Annapaula.
As an endeavour to celebrate Amazing Namibian Women, the project aims to encourage artists to participate in charitable causes. As such, the exhibition opens with an auction of all artworks created, from which proceeds will be donated to Sister Namibia’s initiative Power Pad Girls. Power Pad Girls is an initiative that works to provide re-usable pads to girls in primarily rural areas, along with comprehensive education. Power Pad Girls offers girls basic dignity by allowing increased school attendance and therefore contributing towards the completion of young girls’ primary and high school education.
The artists participating in this celebratory and charitable project include: Petrus Shiimi,Frans Nambinga, Rasai Haindere, Nicky Marais, Ismael Shivute, Saima Iita, Matheus Shilongo, Tafadzwa Mitchell Gatsi, Nambowa Malua, Vaughn Riekert, George Edward, Hildegard Titus, Julia Hango and Nicola Brandt.
“We give great thanks to these and other artists who strive to celebrate the incredible women of this country, and to help to construct and visualise a society that does the same. We also give thanks to the women those depicted and those who aren’t whose achievements are shared by the nation and have helped us progress away from patriarchal patterning and towards equality” said Annapaula.
The exhibition will take place at the National Art Gallery of Namibia from the 16th of August to the 10th of September 2016. The exhibition will also feature a Power Pad Girls quiz night on the 23rd of August.