My heritage is my identity. My heritage is where I began before I ever was. It has always been a pride and I’m humbled by my roots.
I believe that I am my forefathers and it is my duty to uphold their legacy. I am Owambo, Namibian, African and proud. Our customs and traditions anchor me in this modern world where identity is such an ever changing and liquid concept.
Heritage is something that I have always appreciated as long as I can remember. And I am glad that my grandparents noticed it earlier and have done so much to make me value it.
Every time I would visit them, my grandmother would teach me how to prepare different dishes, drinks and all house chores. I enjoyed learning every single thing she taught me.
On the other hand my grandfather would tell me stories of my great grandfathers and the olden days which instilled so much pride in me.
At times I would wish that I lived in their days, I feel they had so much fun. And now our customs are becoming extinct, things are now done differently and the western cultures have taken its toll on us.
Growing up, my childhood was quite memorable. The most memorable moment was at night when we do our traditional entertainment which includes storytelling and playing games around the fire.
I enjoy our traditional ceremonies; I love it when the elders praise themselves and the ancestors. Our clothing and food are what I enjoy the most.
What I value mostly about my tradition is the spirit of goodwill and righteousness it has instilled in me. I was raised to always see the good in people and it helps me to have a positive outlook on life.
My heritage has played a major role in my life and it is still a virtue I hold close to my heart and live by. Heritage is something that is so intriguing, fascinating and important and it helps us to know our roots and the embodiment of our personality.
I love being Namibian and I love being African. I pride myself in our sense of style and way of dancing. I draw inspiration from those who came before me.
I love all the quirky sayings and phrases. And no matter how much the western cultures influence us, I can never abandon my roots. I would always take time to revisit my traditional values. I believe that my ancestors have left big shoes for me to fill.
As Mahatma Gandhi would say “I am not an African because I was born in Africa but I am African because Africa is born in me,” Africa is truly born in me and that is a treasure that I would always hold dear to my heart.
No matter where I end up, I will always have my ethnic culture, my traditions and my memories to pass down to later generations. My heritage has given me a sense of belonging, somewhere to turn when questioning others. Frankly, it helps define who I am.
So, dear sons and daughter of the African soil, our cultures, our languages, our traditions and names are things we should be proud of and celebrate more often.