I turn 25 this year. I think its super cool that I share a birth year with Sister, so I thought I would share my ‘Sister journey’!
I think I was 8 years old when I saw a Sister Namibia magazine for the first time, I was doing 4th grade in rural Caprivi (nee Zambezi) where my mother was a nurse. She came back from a workshop in Windhoek one time with a bunch of Sister magazines, because I am a sappy baby sister before I am anything else, I saw ‘Sister Namibia’ and thought my big brother, who’d been a year in China at the time, is running a successful printing company for a magazine dedicated solely to his sister… in Namibia. I’m a silly person, I know!
Excitedly I took a bunch of the magazines to school the next day so I could brag to all my friends… I’m not quite sure what issue it was, but I remember it had a lot on STIs, imagine my horror when I leafed through the magazine to find very visual stuff on Gonorrhoea and Syphilis.
My next encounter with the magazine was about 12 years later as a UNAM peer educator, at 20, I could appreciate the contents of the magazine a little better and its articles were in fact of instrumental help in our community outreach activities.
Two years after that, my friends and I formed a ‘feminist reading circle’ where we’d meet up for a couple of hours once a week to read and discuss selected feminist literature… And that is how I came to even know where the Sister Namibia offices are, because that resource centre- is feminist literature heaven! It really is a bit of a sanctuary, soon our reading circle meetings moved from the lawns of UNAM’s main campus to Sister Namibia’s resource centre where we would be greeted with incredible warmth in the form of the friendly (2 and a half, hehe) staff, cups of tea and coffee, as well as carte blanche use of the office supplies. Before I knew it, my friends and I were partnering with Sister Namibia to conduct SRHR workshops of our own. And then one afternoon, I was chilling in the Sister Namibia space, enjoying a cup of green tea, when the director at the time said “Mimi, come work for us!” It had seemed like a joke, but a couple of months later… I had my first “real job” working for Sister Namibia, at 8 years old, appalled by infected genitals, I never ever would have imagined it.
Identifying as feminist hasn’t been an easy journey for me, in fact, I still struggle with it sometimes. Let me tell you though, as a young woman with a mini-identity crisis just wanting to find your niche, there is no better place to do it than Sister Namibia. There is an amazing support system, a really cool working environment where opportunities to explore your talent, creativity and ability of any kind, could be limited only by yourself. Even if you are not looking to get on the feminism bandwagon, Sister Namibia is a wonderful place to just get in touch with your humanity, a wonderful opportunity to make a real and visible difference in people’s lives.
I no longer work for Sister Namibia, but I am still a part of her and she a part of me, because “once a sister, always a sister!”
I carry Sister Namibia and the wonderful work they do, in my very heart.
Congratulations on 25 years of educating, empowering, sharing, supporting and helping. Here’s to the next 25, may you grow from strength to strength and flourishing success.
Happy birthday Sister!