Typical nightlife for white Namibians

Typical nightlife for white Namibians

There’s no instruction book for people offering unsolicited advice to racial minorities like Windhoek’s whites on how and where to seek entertainment.

But it turns out whites are extreme creatures of habit when it comes to finding that oasis of tranquillity.
In the absence of such a manual, New Era Weekend can reveal that young and middle-aged professional whites have adopted their very own and unique brand of entertainment strategies.

The music they listen to isn’t one that the majority of Namibians listen to. They also don’t attend entertainment events in their droves.

The reason for this is neither superficial nor racial angst; it actually goes much deeper than that. As we followed them around for a night out, several realities became evident.

They consider discipline, freedom and ease when choosing a spot to hang out at. Top of this list is Joe’s Beerhouse, Andy’s, Club London, Dylans, Bush Bar, Vintage and Die Bendehuis, to name a few.

While many of the revellers love the blues, Barak Obama and Oprah Winfrey, they do not get along with things like hip-hop, which is widely celebrated in Namibia.

As one professional white Windhoek resident, Bradley, puts it: “It’s not about segregation; it’s not about us developing ourselves in isolation on small white islands. Windhoek’s everyday life scene is refreshingly integrated, non-racial and open-minded. I spend a lot of time socialising with black and brown colleagues and friends but I guess it’s a question of ‘birds of a feather flock together’ when it comes to those special and intimate gatherings of people with the same interests, hobbies and outlook on life.”

A successful white businessman and sports fanatic, Rick, says an independent Namibia has given him invaluable glimpses into the private lives of black people.

He shared rooms, meals, bus rides and long conversations off the court with his black teammates. “The best thing about Windhoek’s night life is the many options for all races, creeds and colours. You can go anywhere without ever feeling like an outsider: it’s all up to you and your social and integrational skills,” he comments.

He says you have to understand distrust and suspicion; the meaning of certain looks and certain codes.
White women tend to agree. Sylvia says they are a group of professional girls who love to go out, feel safe and have a great time. “We don’t avoid contact or interaction with black people. But we also know how to steer clear of trouble spots and danger. Women are just so much more vulnerable,” she notes.

The so-called enlightened whites say they have no problem hearing another racial perspective. They claim whites are not clueless about racial sensitivities. But they agree that they don’t think they can understand what it means to be black. It’s much more than being a minority. It’s a whole history.

Some of the whites New Era spoke to at clubs recommended that white people get into racially mixed situations to change who they are and clean up their thinking in mixed settings. But others say they watch with bemusement as nervous whites enter some of the popular nightspots in town.

“The reality is that race affects people’s lives, and if you can’t see race, you can’t see the life they’ve lived,” Mark observes.

Leigh-Ann, an accountant, says there are even the odd white person who considers himself an honorary black person because he has a black girlfriend and likes hip-hop music.

In her seminal study of Patterns of Culture, Ruth Benedict argued that each culture exhibits a pattern by which its various customs, beliefs, and attitudes are integrated. Cultures are not miscellaneous grab-bags of traits, they are patterned wholes. European and African-Americans do have cultural differences like in music.

European styles, symphony orchestra, concert band, brass band, and African-derived styles, jazz, rhythm and blues, world beat are very different musical worlds and these worlds are demonstrated by the night life venues of Windhoek.

African-American has included sexuality directly in the codes of its music while Europe (and European America) has done so only indirectly, unless, of course, following the example and tutelage of African-America.

Conclusion? Whites in Windhoek in general don’t experience the anxiety of political correctness when going out for a night on the town or when they gather around the big screen to watch a sporting event.

Cornelus – who is married to a black woman – perhaps sums it up best: “We must consider cultural differences to be intrinsic, not extrinsic. One does not ‘wear’ a culture as easily and superficially as one wears a suit of clothes nor can one move from one culture to another as easily as one moves from business to casual attire.”

6 Responses to "Typical nightlife for white Namibians"

  1. Christine   July 4, 2016 at 6:53 am

    This is utter nonsense. New Era is renowned for writing kak, and they prove themselves over and over again. The unnamed “staff reporter” that writes this bullshit needs to go get educated or do some research before he spews his lopsided opinion on paper after following a group of white folk around for a few hours. I would go through the effort of trying to educate you on the reasons that ANY person of ANY colour goes to ANY hangout place… You where right to think its types of music, but you are incredibly daft to think only and all black people only like hiphop, and no white people do – I agree that birds of a feather flock together, but I think its people with the same musical likes that go to the places that accommodate that type of music, not white peoples here and black peoples there… That kinda thinking is oldfashioned, and you need to wake up to what Namibia is now, not what South West Africa was 30 years ago. Yeah, places like Bendehuis is going to have a vast majority of white people, because they play a majority boeremusiek, and other Afrikaans bullshit. I would not be caught dead there, because I hate that style of music. London plays EDM, and people that enjoy that kinda music goes there… I dont…. Dylans does the Rock and Metal scene (the very few black people that enjoy that scene goes there regularly… I partied with many of my black friends there of friday. Funny how they actually get told by black people that they act white because of the music they enjoy) and Andies caters to the people that enjoy German music. For any retard not to understand that different people have different tastes in music, and then to stack that up as a race thing, is almost the most ignorant thing I have heard in weeks. I feel like I am wasting my breath. Please rethink your staff. There is a reason that you are most hated newspaper in the country… Because of shit like this. Tell your reporter to go to Warehouse, or Chopses, where all people go (In pretty accurate proportions actually. Maybe 70-80% black to 20-30% white) Everyone parties together and noone gives a crap about colour. It not about the music, its about the vibes.

  2. Anon   July 4, 2016 at 11:04 am

    If this were an article about blacks, it would have been “Racist” and made a big deal of. Grow up. Not everybody is going to fall under the same tree and like the same things. There is space for everyone’s different likes, music tastes and places to go to. This is what’s wrong with Namibia, small minded.

  3. Stephanie   July 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I love this article. White People in Namibia are still very unaware of their Privilege. That’s mainly what it boils down to. Privilege. Great job at highlighting this. I do feel Whites in Namibia could play a much larger role in their community if they weren’t held back by classism more frequently than racism… It’s a system designed to work for a specific people (with power) and that’s fucked up. Also we must mention that in every class (i.e. the Royals) or religion (i.e. the KKK) there is extremism. I always felt like a stranger among white people and I come from a privileged background. And I am white. We need to talk about these things. Thanks jo

  4. Magdalena   July 4, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Would have been interesting, if the writer would have talked to black people as well and included their perspective.

  5. Christian Schneider   July 5, 2016 at 5:52 am

    I am shocked at what I am reading here. Stating that all whites(thats several ethnic groups swept under one rug) listen to the same music and seek the same entertainment is racist! What idiot editor would even consider publishing this? You should be ashamed of yourself!

  6. Werner van Zyl   July 5, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I think this reporter had too much to drink! This is racial bullshit! I can’t believe you allow such nonsense!


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