identity in Namibia is difficult to define, since it implies that that they can have one unified identity across a mix of races and societal classes. Roughly speaking, they are people with both European and African ancestry. Coloureds have immigrated to Namibia, been born in Namibia or returned to the country. These distinctively different periods of arrival, from diverse backgrounds and origins have led to a diverse Coloured population. This diversity was even further exploited by South African officials who referred to three distinct groups amongst the coloureds, namely: "Baster", "Cape Coloureds" and "Namibian Coloureds".
In addition, another element in the coloured makeup was the coloured community in the enclave of Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay , is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies...
(which remained part of South Africa until 1994) that was closely linked to the people and traditions of the Cape Coloured.
The biggest cultural clash occurred in the mid-1980s when the school students were becoming politically aware through teachers returning primarily from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). This led to them challenging their elders (elected to the Coloured Councils and Rehoboth Self-government) who were anti-SWAPO. This embracing of black nationalism
Black nationalism advocates a racial definition of indigenous national identity, as opposed to multiculturalism. There are different indigenous nationalist philosophies but the principles of all African nationalist ideologies are unity, and self-determination or independence from European society...
, and rejecting of the term "so-called coloured" led to many young coloured people rejecting their cultural history and insisting on a racially unified, Independent Namibia. Many would agree with Norman Duncan who asserted that "…there‘s no such thing as a coloured culture, coloured identity."
However, since the early 2000s, more and more writings have appeared arguing that Coloureds are being marginalised.
The coloured people represent a very wide range of genetic and cultural backgrounds. They are a mixed race with European and African ancestry. Their history under the rule of South Africa was very similar to that of the Cape Coloured.
After World War I
A coloured pressure group, the African People's Organisation (APO)
opposes the transfer of the German colony to the South African Authority. From the end of World War I, when South Africa takes over the administration of South West Africa (now Namibia), more Cape Coloureds enter the territory. These settlers petitioned for permission to create a coloured township and this granted in 1921 by the South African Department of Native Affairs. The first coloured township is built north of the Native Location (Old Location) near the present day Pionierspark.
The South West African (SWA) Administration and "white" settlers refer to three distinct groups amongst the "Coloureds":
- Cape Coloureds
- Namibian Coloureds
The first local branch of the APO is established in February 1923. Its aims were to defend "the Social Political and Civil Rights of the Cape Coloured Community throughout the SW Protectorate". Two years later, the African National Bond (ANB), another political organisation with its aim of representing the Coloured community in South West Africa is established. Both the APO and ANB sympathise with the two South Africa "white" parties, (South African Party and National Party).
The SWA Administration dealt a significant blow to the status of the "Coloured" group when it promulgated Proclamation No 34 of 1924 (Native Urban Areas Proclamation). The proclamation states that "a coloured person who lives in the native location shall be regarded as native". The Colour Bar Law of 1926 reserves certain positions for "whites" in the mining industry is made applicable in South West Africa.
In 1946, Andrew Kloppers moved to Windhoek from South Africa. Before his arrival he was involved in politics in the Cape and was a member of the Kleurling Ouer-Onderwyser Vereniging(KOOV), the Coloured Parents-Teachers Organisation. In 1947 he forms the South West African Coloured Teachers’ Association (SWACTA). Clemence Kapuuo becomes the President of the South West Africa Coloured Teachers Association from 1950-1953.
In 1949, the National Party of SWA (NPSWA) wins the elections of the Legislative Assembly. The blurring of ethnic lines between the "Coloureds" and poor whites is the major motivation for the introduction of the Group Areas Act in 1950. The Act prescribes ownership and occupancy of land on racial grounds.
On 18 April 1955, SWACTA and SWA Coloured People's Bond (SWACPB) present a petition to the SWA Administration and the South African Department of Native Affairs for the creation of a new "coloured" township in Windhoek. In addition, SWACTA requests the establishment of a Council for Coloured Affairs. Till this point, the "coloured" population in Windhoek is represented by a "coloured" member on the Native Advisory Board of the Old Location.
Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo launches the Ovamboland People's Organisation in Cape Town on 2 August 1957. Among the founding members are "coloured" political activists, Ottiliè Schimming and Kenneth Abrahams.
Two "coloured" organisations are established in 1959:
- SWA Coloured Organisation (SWACO), with a pro South African stance; and
- Volksorganisasie van Suidwes-Afrika (People’s Organisation of Southwest-Africa), which is anti-SA.
Both parties oppose the creation of the new "coloured" township, Khomasdal, to built west of the town Centre of Windhoek.
On 10 December 1959,the police move into the "Old Location" to break up a crowd of people demonstrating against the moves to Khomasdal
Khomasdal is a suburb of Namibia's capital of Windhoek in the Khomas Region. Founded as Windhoek's residential area for Coloured people, Khomasdal still is primarily composed of Coloured people....
Katutura is a township of Windhoek, Khomas Region, Namibia. Katutura was created in 1961 following the forced removal of Windhoek's black population from the Old Location, which afterwards was developed into the suburb Hochland Park. Sam Nujoma Stadium, built in 2005, is located within Katutura...
, the "coloured" and "black" townships. The first shot fired killed the "coloured" leader, Willem Cloete, the representative on the Native Advisory Board. According to official reports 11 people were killed and 25 injured.
• Coloured Advisory Council
• Coloured Council
• Council for Coloured Affairs
• Federal Coloured People’s Party (FCPP)
• South West Africa Coloured Organisation (SWACO)
• South West Africa Coloured Peoples’ Bond (SWACPB)
• South West African Coloured Teachers’ Association (SWACTA)
• South West African Labour (SWALP)
- Hein, Johann Friederich, Catechist, evangelist and teacher in the Richtersveld. He is ordained as a missionary of the Rhenish Missionary Society in 1857, after much resistance from Germany owing to his classification as "coloured".
- Jordan, William Worthington, Hunter, trader, scout and politician.
- Krabbenhoeft, Johannes Wilhelm, Trader. He was born on 20.09.1882 at Keetmanshoop, the son of Friedrich Wilhelm Krabbenhoeft who established the trading house Krabbenhoeft and Lampe at Lüderitz. This is one of the oldest businesses still in Namibia.
- Krabbenhoeft, Lucie [née Forbes] She came from the Cape Colony and married the German trader Friedrich Wilhelm Krabbenhoeft. Died on 23.11.1948 at Dickdorn,Gibeon, Namibia.
- Ricketts, Edward, A "coloured" trader who was based at Tsub|Garis. He first entered Namibia around 1853. He purchased land from Moses Witbooi in 1886. This was also the only land purchase endorsed by Hendrik Witbooi. He died around 1896. Alternative surname spellings: Rickerts, Rickets, Rickett, Rikkets
- Abrahams, Kenneth Godfrey, Dr., Medical Doctor and political activist.
- Abrahams, Ottilié Grete [née Schimming
Ottilie Grete Abrahams is a Namibian activist, politician and educator.-Personal:Abrahams was born on 2 September 1937 in the Old Location township outside of Windhoek.-Activism:...
], Teacher and political activist. Her parents were Otto Ferdinand Schimming and Charlotte Schimming, née Freiser.
- Barnes, Barney, Politician and entrepreneur
- Niko Bessinger
Niko Bessinger was a Namibian politician and independence activist.Bessinger was born on 12 June 1948 in Walvis Bay, South West Africa. He studied at St. Bonifacius Roman Catholic Primary School, Augustineum Secondary School and matriculated at Athlone High School in Cape Town in 1966...
, Architect, Politician and Minister in Namibia's first Cabinet
- Bezuidenhout, Dawid
Dawid Bezuidenhout was a teacher and politician in South West Africa ....
, Teacher and politician
- Dunaisky, Pius, Participant at the UN Conference: "Contingency Planning for Technical Assistance to Namibia during the Transition to Independence" 24–28 July 1989.
- Boysen, Harry, Politician
- Cloete, Willem, representative on the Native Advisory Board killed on 10 December 1959 in the "Old Location".
- Diergaardt, Reggie
- Hartung, Charlie, National Independence Party candidate to the South West Africa Coloured Council on 30 October 1974.
- Julius, Joey, Politician and leader of the Democratic People’s Party (est. 1982)
- Kloppers, Andrew, Politician. Founder of South West African Coloured Teachers’ Association (SWACTA) in 1947, later leader of the Labour Party and Chairman of the Coloured Council for 12 years - 1962 to 1974.
- Krohne, Albert, National Independence Party candidate to the South West Africa Coloured Council on 30 October 1974.
- Phillips, Willem "Billy", Politician and leader of the Namibia Volksparty (People’s Party) (est. 1988).
- Schimming-Chase, Nora [née Schimming], Politician. Her parents were Otto Ferdinand Schimming and Charlotte Schimming, née Freiser.
- Stuart, Mohammed "Dino"
Dino Stuart is a Namibian politician and former member of the National Assembly of Namibia with the opposition Democratic Turnhalle Alliance.-References:...
, politician and member of the National Assembly of Namibia.
- Wentworth, Buddy, Teacher and politician. Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport.
- Bond, Peter, First Secretary General of the combined black and white chambers of commerce and industry, the precursor to the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI)
- Morar, Navin, Entrepreneur and first President of the post-Apartheid chamber of commerce and industry. Though of Indian descent, he was classified as coloured. Indians had to receive special permission and travelling papers to enter the administered territory of South West Africa.
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