Warimisa and Kazerhirwa, inseparable brother and sister


Warimisa must be about eighteen. He soon became my brother in the village. We have in common the love of nature, quietness and animals. He took me to look after the grazing goats in the mountain. On the way, he often made me walk off the path to sit and enjoy a beautiful viewpoint. One day we stayed for one hour in front of the Angolan mountains without uttering one word. Another day we observed a baboon herd. After several months, I offered him a bike so that we could cycle together across the mountain area around the village.

Kazehirwa is his very close sister. I had much trouble understanding her name but everyone calls her Titi. On her ID, it’s the very nice name Ebène which is written. It’s sometimes difficult to find one’s bearings.

According to her hair style, the ozosetwa, we know that Titi is a woman. Her big necklace, the ovanbwena, shows that she has not yet had any children. In fact, she is “ready to be married” and her parents are assessing the suitors to choose the one who will best look after their daughter. That means manage the cattle, the food, insure her protection … The wedding known by the bride at the last minute, is often felt as a great joy. Parents are very considerate, at least it is so in my village. And if ever something went wrong, the bride could come back to her parents’ village as Mokatjoia did. Divorce is also possible, it may cause tensions but not necessarily.

Titi has always greeted me with beautiful smiles and particular expressions. She makes a point of teaching me the names of the different ornaments which are so important in the Himba tradition. She also laughs at my poor sense of direction. Since I arrived in the south hemisphere, I seem to have lost my inner compass. However I have learnt to sense the smell of water, which is very useful in those areas affected by growing desertification.

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