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  • While we traveled through Namibia in 2005 our guide explained to us that this was the second least populated country on Earth. Nearly 2 million inhabitants, a 60 percent of them from the Ovambo tribe. Then there are Himbas and Hereros. 5% of Namibians are whites and 5% are Khoi San Bushmen.

    The Bushmen are the wisest people I have ever met. They do not seem to compete about power with anyone, they do not fight the Ovambo men, who ever so often invade Khoi San Territory and cut down trees, each one a special treasure in a country, which mainly consists of deserts.

    But among the rest of the population there are tensions. Himbas and Hereros – originally from the same tribe when they came to these regions several centuries ago – are not content with the Ovambo filling most government posts.

    Even among the 5 % white population – who still rule most of the economy – there are conflicts, I learn. Our guide has an Afrikaans mother and an English father. His wife is from German – Namibian descendents. He and his wife seem to love each other dearly, but he once and again sighs when he talks about his in-laws.

    “What is the problem with your in-laws?” I ask him one day.

    “Well, we are not from the same tribe!” he complains.

    We travel with many cameras and huge teleobjective – lenses. Often when we sit, watch and try to photograph wildlife other tourists approach us. I observe with fascination that many - nearly always men - caress the huge 200mm lens as if it carried life and a soul.

    People ask us about technical data of the lens and our cameras. I cannot answer most of these questions, but my husband does so proudly. Immediately I feel that I am an outsider and they are the insiders, they are from the photographers´ tribe and I am not (yet).

    Photography by Kiki (Children from Mondesa - Township, Swakopmund)

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