Namibian Icons

  • True Namibian Icons:
    In Namibia, we tend to do things differently, especially when it comes to employment. But we often tend to forget the simplest services available in our country. Let us try to bring you a few which are often forgotten. Please note the listing is created in random order.

» Number 1: The Newspaper Boy
The Namibian Newspaper Boy has been around since the dawn of ages. Always up early in the morning to sell the Street Drivers their freshly printed Newspaper directly at the Robots. Often holding the whole array of Newspapers available in Namibia which include 1. The Namibian, 2. The Allgemeine Zeitung, 3. The Republikein, 4. Namibian Sun, 4. the New Era… just to name a few. No matter if sunny, cold or early, you always find one of these early birds near a 4-way crossing holding a whole selection of Newspapers ready for purchase from the convenience of sitting in your car while on your way to work.

Namibian Newspaper Boy (photo by The Namibian Newspaper)

» Number 2: The Domestic Worker
How could we ignore the domestic worker(s)? We just had to pay homage to the domestic workers hence they get up often at 04h00 just to catch a Taxi or the Bus to get them to their working place. Early in the morning to clean and preserve other peoples homes. Often they live far away (eg. Goreangap Dam, Windhoek, Katutura, Modesa). So for most of them, it’s actually a daily journey!

Domestic Worker (photo by Mark Lewis at ResearchGate)

» Number 3: The Garden Boy
Also known as a Landscape Engineer, the “Garden Boy” reserves much respect. They attend to yards with much botanical matter and ensure that the yard is kept in pristine condition. Day after day they tend to the surroundings with the utmost of care. Depending on the employer they either wear Overall or just casual clothing.

Landscape Engineer (photo from Gumtree)

» Number 4: Street Security
Street security aka. “Kulliti” keep an eye open for little “Botjiotjios” – Oshiwambo for “little thieves”. Their salary is very low and has to spend hours at night or day to fulfil their duties to keep Namibian streets safe and sound. Much Respect to them.

Security Guard (photo by Namibia Protection Services)


» Number 5: The BBQ Trollies
Now, this is somewhat of a new breed. Individuals who BBQ Wors and Kapana (charred Meat) for the street public who are in need of a quick bite to eat. The classic versions are those with a Street-Trolley (Shopping Cart). Often the Shopping Cart is borrowed from one of Namibia’s Retail outlets like Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite or Woermann&Brock. These little carts are often found next to the street together with Fruit & Vegetable merchants selling fresh Fruits which often is fresher than found in some big retailers. You get very big “BBQ Trollie-Gatherings” like in Bosmara Street in Windhoek where they are mostly selling Chops (cut pieces of meat), Kapana (Oshiwambo for ‘charred Meat’) and Boerewors Rolls for around N$20,-.

» Number 6: The Folk-Art Street Merchant
This one is very dear to us. These individuals sell beautiful wood and stone carvings, often representing their family members who live elsewhere within Namibia going as far as up to Angola, Zimbabwe or Zambia. Some of the best wooden or stone Art pieces can be found in Okahandia Artmarket. In our opinion, most of the Art sold there is way too underpriced hence it takes months to create a beautiful piece of art which isn’t mass-produced. Lot’s of labour in those Art pieces. They tend to be very good hagglers!

Woodcarver/Sculpture Artist (photo by Travel News Namibia)

» Number 7: The Car-Wash Tatte’s
Nobody can clean a car like the citizens of Namibia. Especially when your car is soaked in Salt Road debris found at the Namibian coast after a weekend in Swakopmund while fishing. The Car-Wash Tatte’s (Tatte: Oshiwambo for “respected form of addressing a Male”) know how to polish your car, inside and outside! Not just males but also females perform an outstanding Job in cleaning vehicles. Spotless!!!

Car Wash Team (photo by the Namibian Sun Newspaper)

» Number 8: The Lodge and Restaurant Waiter(s)
Every true Namibian Lodge has Lodge Waiter(s), Domestic Workers(s), Landscape Engineers(s) and a few selected others. But you have to admit one thing, the Lodge Waiters are always super friendly and always carry a smile on their face. Doesn’t matter if you are in Okonjima (Etosha), Waterberg, Mokuti Lodge or Joe’s Beerhouse. They always try to make you feel at home… with a smile! This humble sign of respect also goes out to the Chef’s and Sue-Chef’s operating at the back of the kitchen who produce some of the most delicious platters and plates of food in the back of the house.

Waitresses at Mokuti Lodge (photo by Book Hotels)

» Number 9: The Petroljoggie
When we compare Namibia with Europe one will get a Petroljoggie (Afrikaans for Petrol Attendant) at every service Station throughout southern Africa. This is a very low-income profession where one could say that when re-fuelling your car is met with a Butler at your service. Obviously this is a protective measure to stop crime hence self-service for fuelling up isn’t as simple as in Europe, but they also deserve our humble respect. Always smiling and never complaining while keeping our cars on the road and making sure that our windows are squeaky clean before embarking on our way ahead.

Petrol Service Assistant at Shell Service Station

» Number 10: The Ground and Construction Workers
All the Tattes (see above) who are digging a hole in the Ground for G5 and are battling on diverse construction sites – you are not forgotten. Your backbreaking labour has to be respected as well. Hard work with little pay deserves a “hat’s off”. Hereby we would also like to include all the Namibian Truckers who spend hours on the road to keep the much-needed imports and exports running in this country. Below is one of our favourite Videos from a Company in Zimbabwe, Bitumen. Those guys just killed it. What a beautiful way to introduce a Company. Well done ladies and gents!

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