Anthology depicts society

Shower of Voices is the title of a poetry anthology written by Victoria Hasheela and Tumwaneni Nghaamwa and published by MacMillan Education Namibia Publishers in 2009.

The book which was launched in September 2007 by Erika von Wietersheim at Katutura Arts Centre is a collection of moving poetry which depicts current, real-life situations in Namibian communities. 

Each poem contains an important message that touches the reader’s heart and empowers people’s minds.

In the anthology’s foreword, the then Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Marlene Mungunda described the anthology as, “a collection of creative poetry depicting the current, real life situations in our society. 

The anthropology addresses the many evils within our communities, including rape, women and child abuse, corruption, violence, HIV/Aids, abortion, homelessness and addiction.”

“While many poems are sad, they speak the truth. Children are raped by people they trust. The youth disregards the advice and guidance they receive from their parents. In the end, they must live with the painful consequences. HIV/Aids still cast its dark shadow over our nation; hospitals are filled to capacity, and mortality rates remain high,” added Mungunda.

The inspiration to write poems for Victoria, who is the anthology’s co-author, came as a result of a deep concern triggered by the terrible news she read about rape, domestic violence, road accidents, crime, child abuse and corruption. These issues are expressed in her poems which are also gender neutral. 

She writes, “Our people are drinking alcohol as if there is no tomorrow, leaving a legacy of accidents, violence, rape and abuse. It is so tragic to watch people destroy their lives and those of others due to alcohol and drug abuse.”

Her poems are boned with ideas of behavioural change, nerved and blooded with intense emotions of anger, sorrow and catharsis, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.

One of the definable characteristic of this anthology is its economy of language through the use of poetic prose which makes the poems easy to understand but at the same time preserving poetic qualities such as heightened imagery and emotional effects.

Tumweneni’s poem Bring Back the Smile is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful.  And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see - it is, rather, a light by which we may see - and what we see are the dangers surrounding people as they live their everyday life.

Victoria Hasheela was born in 1985 in Endola, Ohangwena Region. She is a holder of a Computer Science degree from the University of Namibia (UNAM), armed with an Honours Degree in Computer Science from the University of Stellenbosch, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Informatics obtained from the University of Mannheim, in Germany. She has been working for a business software company called SAP AG in Waldorf, Germany until a month ago, when she returned home.

 Tumwaneni Mekelaye Nghaamwa was born in 1982 in Oipapakane Village in Ohangwena Region. She is a final year medical student at the University of Pretoria and also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry and Molecular Biology) from the University of Namibia.