As a travel photographer, one of the keys to a successful trip is the ability to anticipate certain events. The bigger celebrations are hard to miss but the smaller ones don’t tend to get much press outside the local community. That’s why I always make sure to talk to people about any upcoming events and read every local newspaper I can get my hands on.
Although sparsely populated, Namibia is an amazing country with a fascinating cultural and tribal history. The town of Okahandja is one of the country’s oldest settlements and home to the Herero people. A procession every August commemorates the warriors killed during the wars against the Nama tribe and German colonizers. On this day, the women – clad in typical Herero dress – watch their uniformed men march to the graves of their fallen leaders to pay their respects. Despite the vibrant colors and authenticity, it does not attract many visitors.
The general – a teacher by profession – is taking his role so seriously he practically transforms into a caricature of an African dictator and I can’t help but zoom in on him. I decide on a low angle to further emphasize the military nature of the memorial. When the parade ends, the memorial transforms into a celebration with plenty of food and drinks. It is only with the rising of the sun that the country once again settles into quiet normalcy, and one has to wait another year for such a great photo opportunity.
Take me to Namibia!