Posted by: thisiskv | October 6, 2014

Rocking The Daisies: My first Music Festival

Posted by: thisiskv | September 10, 2014

“Keeping Up With Kaveto”

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She was going to die and it was my fault. There was nothing I could do to save her. I woke up franticly that day. I ran to the sitting room where we had the clock on the wall. I could see my sister in the kitchen doing the dishes. I asked what time it was, “Past 10” she said. I missed it.

My world crashed before me and I tried to pick up the pieces. I was confused. The early morning church service was at 7. I missed it. The 9 o’clock service was already in progress. I could run there but it would take me an hour. I was too late. I prayed to God to save my mother’s life if I went to church. I wasn’t going to make it and she was going to die…

She died three days later. I was 12 years old.

 

You remember that moment when it couldn’t get any worse? Your life felt like it was over. You had nothing to live for. But you tried to sell yourself that, “it can’t get worse”.

 

And it got worse!

 

I tried one last time and I lost. I just needed this one time to work but it didn’t…. I failed my exams, I lost my scholarship and I was broke.

You see, somewhere along the line I learned that people only care about their own children.

I left. Money lost. Job gone. People hate. Friends abandon. Nothing left. You can’t get it back.

But the pain for me only lasts for a split second. After that I kill it. So I don’t feel it.

 

The twins told me “All things cycle. Don’t worry. You’ll come back.”

You read books. It’s fake. It’s an illusion. Positive thinking. We create our reality? Right? But you’re STUCK. This is the reality. You can’t change it. The books are BS.

I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t move. I was in a black hole.

Others went to private schools.

I went to a government school.

I was in Cape Town for three years.

You never came to visit.

You did everything for the others.

I had to do everything for myself.

And when help was offered, I was reminded that I would need to pay it.

That is not wrong.

I did a lot of things wrong.

We gave you a little help, now you need more already

Then you said he is my son and went away on holiday.

I was alone.

This is why I’ll be gone for a long time.

Posted by: thisiskv | September 10, 2014

Confessions by KV

Posted by: thisiskv | April 23, 2014

Kv “South Africa Living”

A short video filmed on my phone. Moments in south africa.

Posted by: thisiskv | March 27, 2014

Half Fiction

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The men carried two heavy poles on their backs. It was midday in the Kavango and the sweat from their labour was running down their faces. Their skin was dark and dry from the long hours they spent working under the burning sun. The poles were carried to a hut were many of the villagers had gathered. I was standing on the other side of the path, watching closely in a manner that I hoped would not arouse suspicion of an unwelcomed foreigner. The main entrance to the hut was sealed with the poles which crossed each other diagonally. The poles crossed each other in a way that made a big letter “X”, sort of to signal “no entry” to someone. It is believed that when death strikes its victim, he passes through the main entrance.  A new entrance was built so that death would fail to find his way in the house again. He had already claimed 7 people.

I was quite intrigued by this observation that I made it a task to visit this village again when I travelled to Rundu. The bus driver always stopped at the same tree and speaking in a tongue I could not understand yet, would shout that I had arrived at my destination. I carried a little green notepad similar to the ones that waiters carry to take down your order. I made my way through the bushes and towards the village. The village was unusually empty when I arrived. In a distance, I could see people running in the direction of the hut. I did not know this then but when a baby is born in the Kavango, neighbours run towards the hut when they hear the screams. I made my way closer to the hut and when I reached the main entrance I started to tread lightly. I thought maybe if I walked in quietly and stood at the back no one would notice me.  An older woman with wrinkles on her face looked at me disapprovingly as I entered but besides that everyone had their attention fixed on the hut.

The baby was born in the month when new fruits were harvested.  According to Koopman (1986) a name is a label in the European concept, but to Africans a name is a person i.e. a name is a reflection of one’s personality. .The English surname Smith means “metal worker, blacksmith, derived from Old English smitan “to smite, to hit” (http://www.behindthename.com/name/smith).  The name which the baby was going to receive would reflect the time of the day he was born or the circumstances under which he was delivered. I shared in the eagerness of the villagers to hear the sex of the baby. The midwife came crunching out of the hut and called the father in. Moments later he returned holding the baby in his arms. A child who was born after a baby that passed away usually received a special name. Among the Kavangos such a child is named Iipinge if it is a boy or Mpingana if it is a girl, which means the one who replaces another. He held the baby in the air for the villagers to see, saying “Kaavetoo!” because he had restored life to the hut.

After the ceremony, I decided to leave the village and catch a bus back to the city. Looking at my watch I had roughly three hours of day light left before it got dark. As I was walking I thought about the birth I had witnessed and been a part of. I thought that my rucksack was also much lighter to carry then when first arrived. I shared some of my food with the village kids so my rucksack weighed less. I thought of the baby that was born, his parents, the villagers and the old woman.  Yes the old woman, why did she look at me strangely? What was she thinking? What did she want? I was interrupted by a noise behind. I was being followed by a dog. According to oral tradition (cf. Fourie 1991) the Kavango, Aawambo and the Ovaherero migrated into Angola from the north-east in one group, probably in the 16th century. The Kavango groups (excluding the Hambukushu) split off from the main group some time before the Ovaherero, who on their part moved on into Kaokoland. I was on the bus and ready for my next adventure.

Limitless Voyage] Kaveto Tjatjara

 

Posted by: thisiskv | October 14, 2013

Voluntourisim: Should you come to Namibia as a volunteer?

Posted by: thisiskv | September 21, 2013

Africa through Blue Eyes and Europe Through Brown Eyes…

Black & White

 

As small as it may seem, such an experience is never pleasant. It is however still common in some places. Like I said, there are some places where they really aren’t used to seeing black people. Some of the people who come from such places can’t really help but be somewhat discriminatory, though often not necessarily in a hostile sense. They will definitely do some staring, with some being more subtle than others. They may even try to talk about the black person, wondering what he is doing there and where he is from. Basically they will be curious and a bit wary, but this is pretty natural and not particularly discriminatory. Treat them normally and be friendly, and you will quickly disarm such people.

The discrimination really begins with those who try to treat a black person differently, treating them as an outcast or as though they aren’t welcome. They may give you cold looks, and be unfriendly if you have to talk to them. You generally get the feeling that they are looking down on you. The worst part is when they actually try to treat you differently or make a fool of you. That is certainly an unacceptable form of discrimination. These are the people who you should indeed confront, but not always. It can be dangerous in some cases, so be careful.

Discrimination is alive and well, but these days many people are wary about being called racist. It is therefore more hidden than it used to be, but in some places it comes to the surface. When people strongly identify with their nationality, race, or religion for instance they may be dismissive, unfriendly, and even hostile to people who differ from them. They feel threatened or uncomfortable, and they will immediately make judgements until they are proven wrong.

We live in a world where we divide ourselves in many different ways, such as nationality, race, religion, political views, hometowns, language e.t.c. This comes about for many reasons, but the important thing is that we identify with some of these things, and sometimes we identify very strongly. These divisions and how we identify ourselves, is the root of all discrimination. Without the delusion of colour, gender and national identity crudely camouflaging the cruel logic of racism and such horrors .

With that in mind there is another side to the story. These days there are more and more places in the world where cultures, views, and people are mixing and from these places tolerance, acceptance, and openness flows and grows. The internet is also a big help allowing people of different backgrounds to connect and realize that at the end of the day we are all human regardless of our differences. There are however a lot of people who are lagging behind, and for one reason or another still discriminate… and sometimes they do it quite openly.

My own experiences are a bit special. As you know I’m mixed race which has shaped my life and experiences in many ways. I tend to ignore the looks people give me because of my colour, and can’t really remember it happening often here. I’m sure it has happened though, especially in certain neighborhoods and towns or villages. Depending on the situation I probably ignore it, or give the person a look of my own to let them know I noticed their unwelcome attention. Otherwise I treat people normally until they give me reason to do otherwise.

Since I was a baby I have lived with a black father and white mother, so I have probably experienced such things more than the average person. When I was with my father in England, and when we used to visit the Netherlands on holiday we got a lot of looks because at the time, black people were still uncommon around here and it showed. I have learned from a young age not to pay such looks too much attention, they were expected and natural at the time. These days it depends on where I am, but I may still ignore it… or I may indeed return a look.

The other side of the story is when I am in Africa with my mother. There I also got and still get many, many, many looks and people try to take advantage of us haha… though they fail since we aren’t tourists. But yeah, when you get looks from both sides you realize that neither side is really all that different. The one big difference is how they perceive themselves in relation to you. White people in some places in Europe tend to assume that you are “inferior” in some way… usually in terms of wealth, education and stuff. Black people on the other hand tend to assume that a white person is rich, well educated e.t.c These beliefs change how they treat you.

White people will sometimes look down on a black person until given reason to do otherwise(particularly if they don’t know black people themselves)… while black people will tend to look up to and be friendly to a white person(In some parts of Africa), though they sometimes assume that the white person might think themselves superior, in which case they won’t be very friendly as you can imagine. Both of these cases usually only occur in places where black or white people are not seen often.

At any rate, here in the Netherlands I have heard stories of people being turned away from clubs or swimming pools because they were black. It happened to me once or twice as well. I have also heard about people in rural areas of the Netherlands being cold and sometimes even unpleasant to black people. Looks are definitely common in some places. On the one hand, I think you get used to it, on the other hand I think people will treat you differently depending on how you treat them.

There will always be douchebags who think it’s fun or entertaining to screw around with somebody who is different. It isn’t always best to confront these people, but their behaviour certainly isn’t acceptable or appreciated.

There will also be many who are at first wary if they are not familiar with black people or haven’t really spoken to many of them. This is natural and you shouldn’t pay it too much attention. The trick is to just treat them like you would treat anyone else, treat them normally and they will very quickly do them same. In that way you avoid problems, you counteract their discrimination, and you show them that their assumptions are wrong in a good way. This is how racism is best dealt with in such cases.

These days all kinds of people are mixing; and when we realize that we aren’t that different from each other, we are less likely to discriminate and instead appreciate each other and our cultures.

So as long as people aren’t being rude, hostile and offensive, treat them normally until they give you reason to do otherwise. That way the next black person will have slightly easier time, and you yourself will immediately get better results. You will have a ripple effect on those who are touched by it, challenging stereotypes, prejudices and racism, and calling individuals and families to positive action in whatever area is right. Of course, if they are being unfriendly or hostile or whatever, then it may be appropriate to confront them.

At any rate… Be the change you wish to see in the world. Everyone out there is somebody trying to get by in life. How people live their lives of course varies from person to person and culture to culture. When you look at someone else, especially someone you perceive to be different, it can be difficult to remember that they are people with dreams, challenges, hopes, and fears just like you and me. In the same way that Europe is new and strange and exciting to you, to some people you meet here you are similar strange and a new experience as well… keep this in mind and you’ll do fine.

Africa through blue eyes and Europe through brown eyes.

 

 

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 By Midian Kajwahula & Kaveto Tjatjara

Posted by: thisiskv | July 9, 2013

60 Days Transformation with Kaveto

Posted by: thisiskv | January 6, 2013

2012 in review

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Here is a 2012 annual report for this blog(the limitless voyage). Thank you all for reading

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Posted by: thisiskv | September 17, 2012

The Taramo Twins: Entrepreneures in Namibia

Why is my phone ringing at 3 am? I don’t like phone calls. Especially early in the morning from numbers I don’t know. But I’ll pick up anyways. It must be important; it’s 03:02 and the phone has been ringing for two minutes straight now! I reach for my phone and answer with a low and sleepy voice to remind the person on the line that it’s early in the morning over here and the general rule of telephones is you don’t call people when they are sleeping or eating. The voice on the line says “Yo, Kv…”, I quickly recognize his voice. It’s Phil and he sounds kinda worried. “Come pick me up. I’m outside a bar and I don’t know what to do. We just lost everything. The whole company. my reputation, my dream, Everything! Now everyone is going to laugh at us and think we are losers”. I try to calm him down but nothing is working. “Where are you?”I ask. “I’m outside a bar with a pizza sign on it and I don’t know where Drew is…” “Ok, I know where that place is”. “just come get me man. We need to talk.” “Just don’t move bro, I’ll be there in 15 minutes. I’m coming to get you.” I hung up the phone and then I woke up sweaty. It was just a bad dream!

In the morning I decided to call Drew and Phil so I could write about what it means to be entrepreneurs in Namibia. Below are some excerpts of conversations we had, their beliefs and what it takes as young business man who want to give back to the world.

Phil:  We hear a lot of people who work say: “I hate Mondays. I hate my job because it is my life etc.” But dude, what they don’t understand is you never get rid of the Mondays. With this attitude every day becomes a Monday.

Drew: [laughs] Yeah, bro. When you are at a boring corporate job you have several things going for you: nobody really cares that much at the job. Everyone leaves their work at the desk. Everyone takes weekends off. Everyone takes as many holidays as possible. Everyone gets to work on Monday already looking forward to Friday so they can get some beers. [laughs again]

Kv: [laughs] True man. But ja, I believe not everyone of us can be entrepreneurs but we all have a choice to get involved with work that we love. Annika likes working with children so she got a job working with kids. Kelvin likes cars so he got a job in the Transport industry and now runs his own Bus Company. [Everybody laughs at this point]

Drew: Ja, Kel’ does like cars.

Phil:  But the point is you gotta do what you love. You can’t go work in customer service if you hate people.

Drew: Like that lady in Home Affairs!

The twins start laughing again. It must be an insider joke for them.

Kv: So how are you finding it as young entrepreneurs in Namibia?

Phil: Dude, the worries never end. You never sleep. Every day becomes Monday. Every minute becomes 3am Monday morning. Every day there is constant battles and successes to drive you forward. And sometimes it’s two steps forward and three steps backwards

Kv: What are some of the things you guys worry about when running your own business?

Drew & Phil: A lot of things. You suddenly start worrying about:

  • Is every project getting done on time?
  • What else can we be doing for each client?
  • How do we get good investors?
  • Do we go to parties?
  • I know weI have enough cash coming in to pay employees for 3 more months. But what happens then? What happens on month 4?
  • Will our family survive if the business crashes in 12 months?
  • One of our employees today is crying because of something at home and it is affecting her work. How do we talk to her about it? Do we talk to her about it?
  • How do we keep the team motivated?

Drew: But the mind likes playing tricks on us and makes us worry about a lot of unnecessary things.

Kv: Yes-ja.I guess this life is not an easy one. We have to pick up our cross and carry on. It will hurt at first but it gets better. We have all failed more than once. But when we are in the moment it feels like the world is all over. The best advice I have received in this kind of situations is that “It shall pass.” The good times and the bad times- It shall pass. Nothing lasts forever.

Drew: Ja, but I don’t regret this life we chose. I don’t consider getting a corporate job I don’t like. It would be a failure. We have to keep going forward. You know?  The Mondays never end. Maybe you get used to it. Heck, it’s Monday right now! And I have more issues than I ever had. But over time the problems that used to be hard get easier. And the problems that we have today become opportunities. And the opportunities get better and better because you learn.

Phil: going after your dreams is very difficult. A road full of speed bumps and trouble. But it is also the most fulfilling life you can live. So we gotta keep fighting and do what we have to do now. That’s how you make it in Namibia and basically everywhere.

[END.]

*

 “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph. 4:1-3

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by
And that made all the difference.”-
Robert Frost

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