American Hippie Meets the Ultimate Inspiration

On meeting Ms. Louisa Mupetami:

Image(Ms. Louisa Mupetami, left and Princess Reese, right. Princess is geeking out. Photo Credit: Princess Reese)

Ms. Mupetami is a petite, gentle woman with a small voice. Standing at about 5’ 0” she graciously opened her arms to greet all of us as soon as she recognized us outside of the building. Being the one to interview her was dream come true. It is not often that i see my own face reflected in the movement I love so much (sustainability) and knowing that a powerful Black woman was responsible for changing the face of her country blows my mind.

When I say that she has changed the face of Namibia, I mean that she has: CHANGED. THE. FACE.

As Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, she is responsible to changes and distribution in natural resource management across the country. She has orchestrated efforts to raise the Black Rhino population twofold and the elephant population by 300% since taking office.

Image(Photo Credit: outlaw.org)

She has also implemented countless education programs all over the country and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty out in the field. In fact– this Saturday, the junior members of the team are all going out with her to tag wild buffalo in the plains! She is everywhere and still manages to keep her programs running smoothly.The woman is amazing, and for a Black hippie woman interested in environmental conservation (AHEM! Me) she is a testament to our ability.

What’s most inspiring about her, perhaps, is the way she speaks of her accomplishments and duties as if anyone could have been responsible. She is incredibly humble about her work, and very patient with questions (and my fangirl-like awe of her).

ImageAbove: Ms. Louisa and Mr. Edwin Tjiramba pose for a picture at a recent return to PLU. (Photo Credit: Pacific Lutheran University)

Madame Secretary filled our hour-long interview with anecdotes about her time at PLU, the ways that she grew while there, and the genuine love she received from campus. She remained thoughtful and poised in her responses, while also vividly describing what it was like to live in the apartheid era of Namibia.

Her additions to the documentary are well received and have us all excited about the interviews to come.

Meeting her felt like a three hour dream and I am leaving deeply inspired by her drive and the impact she has had on her community. She will continue to do great work, and Namibians across the country will continue to be positively affected. She is truly one of the best things to ever happen to the country.

-Princess

 

(P.s. For fun, some more “behind the scenes” photos will be available on the Facebook page entitled “Namibia Nine”!)Image

 

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