What connects and differentiates the Himba, who are in the north of Namibia near the town of Opuwo, and the Bushmen, the San people in the east near the town of Tsumeb?
The semi-nomadic Himba herders are a proud and fairly wealthy tribe. They each have hundreds of goats and cattle. Most of their children do not go to school.
The Bushmen are hunters and gatherers as well as one of the oldest, yet also poorest, tribes in Africa.
Despite this, some of them speak a little English — for example, students in the village of Grashoek in the Kalahari desert, where there is a living museum showing this culture.
One of their teachers is Perpetwa N. Hausiku.
Why did you become a teacher?
I love working with the children of the San people. I fell in love with their culture and diversity — I like how they live. I speak all their dialects.
My schooling also started here in 1996, when my father got a job in a neighboring village.
After high school, I returned as their teacher.
Do the children here like to go to school?
Their parents did not go to school, and sometimes they have to be almost forced to come to class.
Once they are in the classroom, they become very curious and want to learn.
What happens after finishing school?
We send them to a secondary school in Tsumeb, but because they have to leave the village and their parents, many give up. Others leave school for different reasons.
In spite of this, last year four children finished primary school, and two are doing so well in high school that they may go on to study further.
Also, one of our teachers graduated from college.
Points to Consider
- Why do few children go to school in Africa?
- Is going to school a privilege?
- What awaits you after primary and secondary school?
The original version of this article was published on October 5th.