"Pour survivre, les Himbas doivent avoir les pieds enracinés dans leurs traditions et les voix qui portent jusqu’aux grands pays au-delà de la grande mer..."

Kovahimba, l'association ayant pour but d'aider les Himbas, peuple nomade de Namibie


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The issue

The future of the Himbas

Only some fifteen years ago, the Himbas discovered the vast world dominated by western values and practices. They realised that they could not remain isolated for fear of domination or even disappearance. They remain mostly attached to their land, their nomadic life as breeders and their traditions. However, they have become an object of interest and studyfor filmmakers, travellers and tourists to an extent that the fragile equilibrium of the region may be threatened.

From these intrusive experiences which are often disrespectful of the people and their way of life, the communities have got nothing but a few bribes. Often considered “under-developed” by their Namibian fellow countrymen, some of them feel ashamed of their identity. What a paradox when images and films praising in particular “the wild beauty of the ochre people” are circulated all over the world, never failing to fascinate the West.

For those 7,000 to 10,000 people, protecting and promoting the value of their culture have become a major challenge for their economic and political future, for them to adapt themselves and not end up destroyed by the vast world. The most educated Himbas have not found yet an answer to that issue and they remain alone to think about it.

Kovahimba which means “with the Himbas” aims to accompany those minorities in their knowledge of the outside world so that they may gradually take charge of themselves. The mission is to enable the young generations to discover the realities of the contemporary world and to access efficient means in Namibia and worldwide that would help promoting their identity and their progress.

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