‘I am successful but when I go back home, my place is still dictated’

KU business graduate and Miss Namibia finalist, Aurelia Samuyenga, shares her views about Black History Month, intersectionality and Black excellence.

Black History Month is more of an empowerment than a celebration of Black culture. The intentions around it are good but it still needs improvement,” said Samuyenga.

“It does not matter if you put it in your calendar, what really matters is whether you actually live up to the value of Black History Month and implement it into your daily life.” 

Samuyenga said she thought there was no point spotlighting specific events and people for Black History Month because it is too simplistic.

Instead she advocates that Black History Month should depend on local histories and what feels the most relevant. 

“I am educated, qualified, successful, and still, when I go back home, my place is still dictated. I am supposed to be in the kitchen or serving men, just because I am a Black woman.”

She described how in Namibia, Black men would approach white women with formal greetings but would use phrases like “hey sister” when approaching a Black woman.

“Black women are seen as lesser than Black men,” she said, adding that in Namibia, she wouldn’t be welcomed to a hunting session when a non Black woman would.

When asked about the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and its future prospects, Samuyenga said: “It is important to fight smart and in a way that will make the biggest impact. We have to speak a language that resonates with people who can make a difference, fighting in courts, fighting for laws and on a systematic level.” 

When commenting on Black excellence, Samuyenga said: “It is about celebrating our achievements, it’s not about saying this happened because I am Black, it is about saying that I am capable and it just happens that I am Black.”

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