Meeting Kaputu

Before we can get back to the deck at Epupa Falls Lodge and our whiskeys, we are directed to a village about 13km from Kapika’s. Apparently they need our help and this is where we find our next Himba in need of care, Kaputu.

Kaputu most certainly is the first Himba I have come across with own birth certificate. She was born on the 8th August 1975, which would make her 39. Kaputu cannot speak. Not a single word. She doesn’t know how to eat either. She just sits there with no interest in the world. She is extremely dirty and even more neglected.

I ask permission to pick her up tomorrow when we return to Kapika’s omuramba. We will first need to bath her, cut her nails and dress her nicely like we did with Ndjinaa. Then we will start caring for her. The Himba’s from her village agree and so we have a new mission.

Kaputu used to be able to speak but after the birth of her first child she almost completely stopped to speak. First she still spoke but a few sentences and then she completely stopped. The women tell me that Kaputu will sit in the sun the whole day if they don’t tell her to move into the shade. There is nothing wrong with her hearing or understanding. She has just lost the will to live.

I cannot Kaputuhelp but to ask myself whether this is a form of extreme depression of even dementia. Or is she traumatized? What caused her to stop living; to stop speaking?

Like with Ndjinaa, I attempt to find out what has happened to Kaputu. She definitely wasn’t born like this but her personal & medical history is non-existent. We cannot find any information about her. She doesn’t belong to the village where we found her and she is not family of any of the Himba’s in the village. The Himba women from the village explained that they picked her up after her father’s funeral a few months ago. She has no family except her two children.

I find no answers to my questions. The only thing that I know for certain is that Kaputu needs to have a life of quality. And anything that we, ADN offer her is far more than what she currently has.
Maybe there is a doctor out there who can help us. Someone who can help us build this village or even someone who can find water in the area and drill a hole. It seems to me that have been assigned as the “guards” of Ndjinaa and Kaputu. But we will need all the help that we can possible get.

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