Africa: promise of adventure
|Contributed - Tourists admiring
a lion in South Africa.
By the time you read these notes, I should be sitting pretty on
an elephant or a lion in a game park, somewhere in South Africa
capturing a photograph or two for The Gleaner's Lifestyle pages.
Quite a tall order, I must say. But since The Sunday Gleaner announcement
of my sponsored trip to South Africa by the South African High Commission,
my telephone has not stopped ringing, most with requests and some
of the orders have been tall.
Many readers have called to congratulate me; some have offered
me money so that I will arrive in Johannesburg seeming like a well-to-do
Jamaican, some want paintings, clothing and pictures, while others
have really upset me with a lot of myths about Africa.
My God, the African continent is so big, I doubt I will get a chance
to meet the dictator in Zimbabwe and I am sure I won't witness the
recount of the elections in Nigeria, if it becomes necessary for
them to have one. So I wish my friend, whom I love very much, who
called me to say that I am to be careful I am not kidnapped during
a rebellion, had not called.
I am not going to speak about the modern and exciting Cape Town
or the fabulous Durban, where my trip ends on May 15, I will instead
speak of the first time that I visited Namibia 10 years ago with
my best friend Dollis Campbell. In our next publication we will
give you an insight into Nelson Mandela's homeland.
Since my trip to Namibia, I have been to North Africa and visited
places such as Morocco and Tunisia.
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern
Africa, on the Atlantic coast. It shares borders with Angola and
Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the
south. It gained independence from South Africa in 1990 and its
capital city is Windhoek, which is German.
Namibia is an artist's appreciation of restrained colours. From
the amazing red of the Sossusvlei sand dunes and the whiteness of
the Skeleton Coast to the striking black mountain and the mauve-hued
ranges, the colours are spectacular. The towns were amazing and
the wildlife fabulous.
I travelled for over 10 hours from the capital city to a game park,
where the gates had to be closed at nights so that the animals would
not have access to the lodgings. En route, whenever I mentioned
that I was Jamaican, the faces of the people would glow and the
first words to come out of their mouths related to Bob Marley, Jimmy
Cliff and Peter Tosh's music.
Namibia is where I first tasted crocodile meat and where I first
fell in love with Africa.