Breaking the barrier

In 2017, Hendrina Kagolo created together with her project partner Luisa Forck the short documentary “Perspectives”. Today, Hendrina gives us an insight into her perspective.

The Namibian and German youth are trying to confront past issues and find ways to work together to mend the strained relationship between the two countries. For this to happen, people need to be given opportunities. Namibia wants the German Government to pay reparations and I support that wholeheartedly. However, the money will simply land in the hands of the Namibian elite and the youth will still be left with animosity, anger and hate towards each other.

Namibians need opportunities such as tertiary education, jobs, and travel possibilities etc. More importantly they want to own land. What most white people don’t understand is that they are privileged beyond measure, while black people are not and it is that privilege that allows them to get more opportunities than a black person would normally do. Most white people will tell you, “…but I am not responsible for all the bad things that happened to your ancestors in the past”, which is true, but their ancestors are responsible for colonization and its horrible side-effects. When we say white people are privileged, we don’t mean they were born rich or that they don’t have to work as hard to make a living. Instead, we are talking about the privilege of having white skin that automatically protects them from things in society and gives them an advantage over their black counterparts.

Work_1I have had the opportunity to work/live in Germany for 3 months and while we were doing the documentary “Perspectives“, I came across a lot of people who didn’t know anything about Namibia, there seemed to be no interest in Namibia whatsoever. One guy said to us “You are going to take it (Namibia) back, as a colony?”. This really hurt me, I just felt like this person had no regards for humans or peace for that matter. And it’s not his fault at all. I think it’s the German Education system. Scholars are not taught about German colonies, such as Namibia and even if they are, it is not covered extensively.

We still have white people in Namibia who own large amounts of land. We are not saying white people should leave because quite frankly many of them were born in Namibia. We simply want land to be distributed fairly among all Namibians regardless of ethnicity or skin colour.

Work_5I really think we need to start breaking barriers and thinking of ways in which we as the youth (both Namibian and German) can learn and improve. There are still so many stereotypes in both Namibians and Germans. You would find that a lot of people in Namibia know so much about Germany while the Germans knows so little or nothing at all about Namibia. It is those barriers that needs to be bridged. For us to close the gap we first need to start with education. Namibians already learn about the colonial history in primary and secondary school and the Germans don’t, so it is our job to write stories, make documentaries, films, and websites in order for us to educate the young generation. I am so happy that Welwitschia and Free Your Mind! are doing collaborations in order to teach and give people experiences that will change their mind-set.

by Hendrina Kagolo

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