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Namibia is an independent Southern African country, formerly a colony of Germany and later a protectorate of South Africa.


The region has been inhabited since pre-historic times by the Khoi, San, Damara and Nama people. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples, including the Ovambo, arrived and by the late 19th century constituted a majority there.

The German Empire colonized the territory, creating what became known as German South West Africa (1884 till 1915). In this period there occurred (1904-1908) what is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century, when German troops waged a war against the Herero and Nama.

In 1920, after the end of the war, the League of Nations mandated administration of the colony to South Africa. A close relatiuonship developed between the two countries, with South African political rule and educational, cultural and economic systems (including Apartheid from 1948 onwards) being imposed.

By the 1960s ever-increasing swell of protest against the South African emerged and after a long struggle, that became known as the Namibian War of Independence, the colony gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990 and was renamed Namibia. (The harbour town of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.)

Artistic and cultural links with South Africa

Despite the independence, there remains a strong educational, cultural, economic and other links between Namibia and South Africa. Many South Arican notable artists, writers, performers and so on were born there, or settled there over the years. Many Namibian born individuals have also studied and developed their art in South Africa.

Important in this process has been the establishment of various cultural institutions during the South African period, among them the Windhoek Civic Theatre, South West African Performing Arts Council (SWAPAC, today National Theatre of Namibia), the University of Namibia,


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