Film Celebrates Namibia’s Silver Jubilee


MARCH 21 marks the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Namibia and celebrations have been lined up across the Southern African republic. In the arts and culture scene, a lot of activities are on the cards for the big day, with some events already starting to take place. Namibia attained her independence from the-then apartheid South Africa on March 21, 1990, after it was placed under the former’s administration by the then League of Nations from Germany rule.

One of such massive and potentially memorable celebrations is the screening of the award-winning film “Waterberg to Waterberg: In the Footsteps of Samuel Maherero” to be held in Berlin, Germany, on March 25. 

Born in 1856, Samuel Maherero was a paramount chief who led the Herero tribe and stood out in the war of insurrections against the oppressive German forces in Namibia. Today, he features amongst some of the country’s outstanding liberation heroes in Namibian history.

The choice of screening the film in Germany is by no way coincidental since Germany is a former colonial master of Namibia and it is hoped that the event will help in telling a true story of the atrocities that the German colonisers afflicted on Namibians during their rule and probably have a re-think and a re-visit of the inhumane way they treated their fellow human beings all in the love of supremacy.

Positively, though, the screening of the film is expected to also help in healing the wounds that came with the oppression of the Namibian people at the time and help in perpetuating and promoting the message of unity, oneness and love across the colour divide. 

Directed by Andrew Botelle, the film, is being screened courtesy of AfricAvenir, the winner of the Audience Choice Award of the Namibia Theatre and Film Awards which were held last year. It is also in the running for the Freedom Prize Competition of the 4th edition of the Luxor African Film Festival to be held in Egypt this month. 

The German screening comes hot on the heels of a similar screening that was held in Windhoek, Namibia recently. A synopsis of the film reads thus: “What happened to Samuel Maherero after the battle of the Waterberg in 1904? One minute he was the most influential leader in Namibia, the next he was running for his life with a bounty on his head.

Relentlessly pursued by the invading German army, his people were scattered and hunted down. Samuel and a small band of loyal followers somehow managed to escape into the waterless sands of the Kalahari Desert.

“Following in this remarkable man’s footsteps, Waterberg to Waterberg tells the history of the Herero migrations across Southern Africa more than 100 years ago. A journey of a thousand miles, on horseback and by foot, from the Waterberg Mountain in Namibia to the Waterberg Mountain in South Africa. A journey to find a place they could call home. Through interviews with Herero elders living in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa today, the film pieces together this true story.

Through colonial reports, archive films and original photos we bring to life the old world of Samuel Maharero and his nation in exile between 1904 and 1923. They may have lost most of their possessions in the war, but the Herero carried their culture inside of them, and refused to let it die. This is their story – and the story of the hero who led them.”

March 2015
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