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False 10 Travel Namibia Moro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture The ! Gubi Family’s trip has been financed by an organisation called Indigenous People, which hopes to generate an interest in the ancient culture of the San Bushmen and so alleviate poverty within the community back in Namibia by promoting sustainable tourism. Trance dance is as old as San culture itself, and tradition has it that their music evokes an altered state of consciousness through the rhythms and beats, enabling the musicians to enter a trance and perform healing on both individuals and the whole tribe. The healers traditionally sing and dance throughout the night, playing the mouthbow, the mbira and the zuma – a four- stringed instrument. The trance- inducing beat is created with the ankle rattles of the dancers and the clapping of the community. Eighty- year- old Grandfather ! Gubi said: “ When I play Chicken or Crocodile Skewers with Cashew Nut Satay n 1 crocodile fillet or 2 chicken breasts For the marinade n lemon, juice only n 2 tbsp olive oil n 1 clove garlic, crushed n 1- 2 tbsp soy sauce For the satay sauce n 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter n 110g/ 4oz unsalted cashew nuts, crushed n 1 lime or lemon, juice only n half tin coconut milk n fresh chillies, chopped, to taste n splash soy sauce, to season n palm sugar or light brown muscovado sugar, to taste n skewers Method 1 Soak the skewers in cold water for 10 minutes. 2 Season the crocodile or chicken generously and cut into strips about 1cm x 2cm. 3 Mix together the marinade ingredients and marinate the meat for at least half an hour. 4 Combine all the satay sauce ingredients with just enough soy sauce to season. Add a little sugar to sweeten, if necessary. 5 Simmer gently for five minutes. 6 Preheat a barbecue, grill or griddle pan until very hot. 7 Thread two or three strips of meat onto each skewer and place on the heat. 8 Cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked golden. 9 Serve with the hot satay sauce for dipping. Trance dance in UKUK A group of San musicians and dancers from Namibia is bringing an ancient healing dance to the UK. Bikers’ braai music, the spirit enters me, and I connect with my ancestors, who help me to answer important questions. People may see me playing, but I am not there, I am with my ancestors!” His daughter Anna had polio as a child and is now paralysed from her waist down. She has a hauntingly beautiful voice and is one of the best chanters in the region where she lives. “ Our music is very powerful and heals people of their ills. It also tells the stories of our people, from the old times, when we would have to walk all day on the burning sands to find water, or it captures the spirit of the animal so that we are successful in our hunt,” she said. The group’s youngest member, Anna’s son John, writes some of their songs, including a track called Machisa San Boys. He says “ It is a song that I wrote that says to the people, ‘ here come the hot San boys, look at how great they are.’” To find out where the ! Gubi family are playingng or to book t hem yourself visit www. indigenouspeople. org. uk D ancing outside the ! Gubi family home W hen the TV cooking duo Simon King and Dave Myers – The Hairy Bikers - rode into Namibia they were treated to a braai, the Namibian version of a BBBBQ. Braai- ing is a national pastime and no trip to Namibia is complete without trying one. Here is a recipe the boys brought home for their BBBBC series L earning to braai - the Hairy Bikers

False Travel Namibia 11 Etiquette savvy Interview nQ How did you fall in love with the country? I was working for Miss Universe 1992, Michelle McLain, a Namibian. When I arrived in Windhoek for the first time I went to a dinner that was hosted by the Prime Minister to launch Michelle’s children’s charity. That night, Michelle introduced me to the Italian ambassador, Piero De Masi. I ended up falling in love with both Namibia and Piero all on the same day. Piero and I married at Schwerinsburg Castle ( the ambassador’s residence in Windhoek) in 1996. nQ What was life like as an ambassador’s wife? Fascinating. One of my favorite memories is meeting the king of one of the most important tribes in Ovamboland. When we arrived at his kraal we were taken to a cattle auction – the clouds of dust, the ululating women dressed in colourful swirling skirts, the mooing of the cows, the auctioneer in his feathered hat, and the aroma of grilling meat in the air – are still distinct in my mind a dozen years later. nQ What surprised you the most when you were writing your guide? Researching ancient tribal customs is a wonderful way to understand the cultural perspectives people have today – I especially enjoyed learning more about the old hunting and fishing rituals. These customs took into account the importance of conservation of the environment long before these ideas became current in Europe or North America. nQ What would a suitable present be to a San guide? Unlike in times past, when they were entirely self- sufficient, in today’s world, the Bushman or San people in Namibia need hard currency to purchase things they are unable to find in the bush. In addition, a guide might appreciate sugar, flour or matches if you have some to share. nQ How should you greet a Himba woman when visiting her home? I have been to Himba villages many times and usually am greeted by a cheery, “ Moro!”. The one thing to remember is that one does not touch or shake hands with a Himba unless the Himba herself extends a hand first. When entering her home, it’s best to let her lead the way. Often, Himba women will make and sell baskets or jewellery for very reasonable prices. They appreciate selling these items, as the hard currency is useful to them, particularly if they have children in school. nQ What’s the most important piece of advice you would like to pass on? Namibia is so multi- cultural that tolerance is built into today’s society. I would advise however to take care about showing too much skin. In some parts of northern Namibia it is considered inappropriate and indecent to show skin between navel and knee; in other parts of the country, covering the breasts is more important. A good rule of thumb when travelling the country is to wear long pants or walking shorts and stay away from low- cut blouses or clothing that exposes the midriff. Aside from being culturally smart, you’re protecting your skin from Namibia’s strong sun. n Namibia - Culture Smart! By Sharri Whiting is published by Kuperard in October 2008 The wife of a former ambassador to Namibia has written a book to ensure visitors never inadvertently put their foot in it. Sharri Whiting lived and worked alongside her husband in Namibia for four years and often found herself in situations where etiquette was critically important. ‘ Living Museum’ in Caprivi You can lelearn to dancencence like a Mafwe at a new ‘ living museum’ on the banks of the River Kwando in the Caprivi Strip. The project aims to increase understanding of the Mafwe people while also giving them a stable source of income. Guests can learn about traditional cultures and the original way the Mafwe lived. They will be encouraged to sing and dance to the Mafwe drums and try local food. Villagers at Singalamwe, 19km north of Kongola, have jobs as guides and will provide crafts for the centre’s shop. A campsite has also been set up on neighbouring land. The Mafwe people themselves began the project with the help of Living Culture Foundation Namibia, a non- profit organisation. The foundation aims to alleviate poverty in rural areas while preserving traditional Namibian cultures. The Mafwe centre is the foundation’s second living museum in Namibia. The first is of the Ju/’ Hoansi- San and is situated in Bushmanland at Grashoek between Rundu and Grootfontein. For more information go to www. lcfn. info The founder of the Mondesa Township Tours, Charlotte Shigwedha, has won another award for her work. Charlotte was a runner up in the Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Awards. She started Mondesa tours in 2002 and they have been a huge hit with tourists in Swakopmund. Charlotte’s friends and family open their homes to visitors - her mother demonstrates pounding mahango for cooking; her Auntie Josephine tries to teach visitors the basic click sounds of the Nama Language and Meme Angelika talks about Herero culture. A ward for township tours LCFN