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Ovahimba law graduate embraces cultural attire

Written by on April 15, 2024

Opuwo-born Tuaririovangu Kasirua (23) says her graduation outfit represents her identity and who she is.

“I am an advocate of my Ovahimba people who have sent me to the city to see and receive the light and to chase my dreams and take it back home, therefore, I will always be a representative of the Ovahimba people,” she says.

Kasirua, who obtained a bachelor of law degree honours from the University of Namibia (Unam) in Windhoek on Wednesday, says she serves as a youth advocate.

She has wanted to become a lawyer since she was in Grade 6, she says.

She completed shadowing at various law firms, such as Tjituri Law Chambers and Swaartbooi and Muharukua Attorneys.

“After the job shadowing, I knew this is the field I wanted to pursue,” she says.

Kasirua further says finances were always a challenge and she had to struggle to get bursaries.

She adds that she hopes to get more opportunities to complete her master’s degree.

Growing up in an extended family, she believes more young people from marginalised groups can make it too.

“If you put your mind to it, everything is possible, do your part and God does the rest.”

Kasirua’s mother Vasisee Ikondja, who described her daughter as a “go-getter”, says the journey was not an easy one, but her daughter made it through all the hardships.

“She represented us so well and I am very proud of her, I will continue supporting her. I have high hopes for her and I believe she will thrive. I hope she can also inspire other people back home that they can make it in life too,” says Ikondja.

Lawyer Kadhila Amoomo says Kasirua was also an intern at Kadhila Amoomo Lawyers.

“She is one of the Ovahimba young people who received training at our office. We are proud of her for obtaining her LLB degree and will now proceed to serve our people with pride and dedication.”

African indigenous law/customary law lecturer at the Unam School of Law Eugene Libebe says Kasirua was his student since her first year at the university.

She was active, visible and participating in academic affairs. She was also involved in student leadership roles and active in the Unam Law Students Council (ULSC), says Libebe.

“As her customary law lecturer, she always stood out because of her pride in African identity and culture, especially her Himba culture. She represents who we are and how rich/beautiful our history and cultural orientations/expressions are,” he says.

“Because of her roots and culture, she stood out, even during graduation, as no one expected to see that attire. She also inspires me, to see a young student who is not ashamed of who they are and graduating despite all odds. She is a rising star,” Libebe says.

Unam African communications system lecturer Albertina Malwa says African cultural attire is regarded as a form of communication referred to as visual communication.

“[It] serves as a visual language which conveys cultural identity, as well as beliefs. Additionally, each garment carries deep meaning, reflecting the wearer and beliefs, ethnic background, social standing, role within the community and even participation in ceremonies,” Malwa says.

About 4 400 students from Unam graduated on Wednesday.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, higher education, technology and innovation minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi lauded the graduates for their commitment.

The post Ovahimba law graduate embraces cultural attire appeared first on The Namibian.

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