Feature: Namibians welcome 2021 in unconventional ways

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 2, 2021
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by Ndalimpinga Iita

WINDHOEK, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Namibians across the country welcomed the new year 2021 in unconventional ways amid strict measures due to COVID-19 including a curfew between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Activities included private activities, functions and low-key celebrations.

Helena Shikongo, 36, based in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, said that her family sang faith-based gospel songs to express gratitude and welcome the new year.

"Usually we would have attended church to crossover into the new year. However, due to the curfew, we had to get into new year from home as a measure to curb COVID-19 spread," she said on Friday.

Another Windhoek dweller, Titus Damaseb, said he went hiking with two friends to welcome the new year to usher a habit of fitness and improved health.

"In the past years, we welcomed the new year at big crossover gatherings," he said.

Damaseb said the curfew and other stringent measures put in place by the Namibian government to curb the spread of COVID-19 has helped him realise the importance of good health.

In rural Namibia, ordinarily, villagers would gather in masses at local informal entertainment areas from as early as 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 until the new year.

"Ironically, this year we had to disperse and leave the area at 6 p.m. instead and go home. As such, for the first time in seven years, I was asleep when new year struck," said Tsiki Negumbo from a village in Oshana region in the northern part of Namibia.

Meanwhile, traditional leaders took to the radio to wish dwellers a happy new year.

"COVID-19 calls for exemplary leadership, thus we could not hold high-level gatherings to ensure compliance," said David Shooya, a local tribe leader.

Internet-savvy youth resorted to viewing live-streamed new year countdown moments across the globe.

"I also watched some live concerts thereafter, as well as some church services," said Eveline Gabriel from the coastal town of Walvis Bay.

In the interim, the countdown into the new year was also dominated by prayer and hope for those battling with COVID-19.

"I am grateful to have recovered from COVID-19. Thus in the new year, I am praying without seizing for the restoration of health for those infected and affected by COVID-19," said Taati Ndapewa from Windhoek.

Namibia has so far recorded 24,545 confirmed cases with 20,727 recoveries and 208 deaths. Enditem

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