No nation is free before everyone is free?
Written by Berrie Holtzhausen
I asked her new ‘friends’ to take Kaputu back to where they found her. Kaputu was confused and scared as more and more inmates bundled around her.
Next I asked the nurse to take me to the doctor. This magnificent hospital only had two doctors and I was very fortunate to be allowed into the room of one of the doctors. The doctor was a Tanzanian and very helpful, but also didn’t know Kaputu or her medical situation. She nevertheless promised to look into Kaputu’s case and that she would inform me the next morning.
I needed a place to sleep for the night. (And anyone that has been to Oshakati will be able to tell you that choice here is limited!) I was hoping for the best; maybe she would release Kaputu like they did Tanda in Otjiwarongo. Or they would transfer her back to Opuwo where we could pick her up again.
I am convinced that places like Ward 16 needs to be closed down. They need to be banned from existence. But then where would the people go? I believe that we as a nation need to build more homes like Yakandonga for our people with dementia and other brain diseases. Before I left for Oshakati, I met Koos at the new Himba dementia village which we called ‘the place where I was freed from my chains.’ I took Ndjinaa there to see her new home. A Ndjinaa that was very different from the one I first met 16 months ago. She is still confused and struggles to talk coherently, but she is alive again. When she saw the new ‘village’ she started talking about her six children and all the names of the different Himba villages where she has lived over the last 70 years. My studies at UTAS suddenly came in very handy!
The contrast between the last two photos and the grated door and Kaputu on the floor is the reason why ADN [ Alzheimer Dementia Namibia ] was founded and now we need your support. We need every little bit of help we can get to help our people.
Contact us for more information:
The Dementia Village in Progress
Gabriel is busy putting up the fence and then we need to drill a waterhole, put up water tanks, install solar energy, build houses and and….
We hope that the Himba-dementia village will break down the stigma, created by superstition and confirmed by religious dogma, over the years to come.