Keetmanshoop, a small town in the South of Namibia… a country in the Southern part of Africa. This is the place where my life story begins. The kind of place where kids could still ride their bicycle to their friend’s house and play in the streets, with no worries about being run over or abducted by a stranger. Innocent carefree platteland!
Around the age of three, my father decided to start farming. Not just any farm. One that my grandfather poured his blood, sweat, and tears into and where one of my brothers is currently carrying the torch forward. A beautiful piece of land in a fairly isolated area of Namibia with arid, wide-open spaces. I love this place! It’s got a special kind of magic and ask anyone that’s traveled to Namibia, they will concur that it’s a must for the bucket list!
I’m one of three siblings. The only girl AND a laat-lammetjie… or my parents’ own personal favorite – their pensioen-dief! (Basically indicating that I robbed them from a comfortable retirement… pfft!… they loved it!) The age gap between my brothers and I – eight and ten – resulted in us always being far apart. Literally and figuratively! Growing up on a farm goes hand-in-hand with going to boarding school. So when I finally started going to primary school, they went to high school. When I went to high school, they went to varsity and so forth. Essentially we only really got to spend school holidays together, but in spite of this the bond between us have always been strong. I would go to the ends of the earth for both them and of course, my parents.
Primary school years was spent in Keetmanshoop followed by a 3-year stint being home schooled. I chose to finish my high school education in Upington. Another small town in the Northern Cape of South Africa, a neighboring country to Namibia. At least it was marginally bigger than Keetmanshoop! But bigger and brighter lights still kept luring me and I decided on Cape Town for a tertiary education, starting with a year in IT… back then everyone was on the “computer” bandwagon. That’s what you had to do to keep “ahead of the times”! After a year, reality sunk in. It was time to choose a route to specialise in and for me, it was a course in Desktop Publishing.
After some fumbling around doing part-time hospitality work, because of course you need experience to find your first design job… (Note to employers: Please do give the sad rookie straight out of varsity a chance! You could possibly MOLD them to your own needs and desires. Novel idea, right!?)… I managed to secure a position as a junior graphic designer at a publishing house. The rest followed naturally. Starting lower than a bacterial micro-organism on a month-old rotten piece of fish and gradually progressing to a barnacle on a whale, making my contribution to the greater good of the ecosystem. And if I’m lucky, perhaps end up being the whale. Maybe.