Himba woman almost beat up tourist for taking her photograph

13 Aug 2013 12:10
OPUWO, 13 AUG (NAMPA) - A Himba woman nearly beat up a tourist for taking a picture of her without her consent here on Tuesday.
The Himba woman, Uatanaua Nduri, saw a female tourist taking a picture of her, and afterwards asked for payment or for the tourist to delete the picture, but a communication gap between the two led to a lot of confusion and an argument erupted.
“I was busy processing my sheep skin and the tourist started taking pictures of me. I then stood up and confronted her, demanding payment which she refused,” Nduri told this Nampa reporter who also witnessed the incident next to the Opuwo Bakery.
According to Nduri, the tourist only offered her sweets as payment, which she refused.
“They drove off while I was still standing holding onto the door of the car. I was becoming furious about their actions, and why they take us for fools because we are Himbas,” said Nduri angrily.
Nduri said the tourist was very lucky to drive off, otherwise she would have punched her (tourist).
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Regional Crime Investigations’ Coordinator for Kunene Region, Deputy Commissioner Isreal Hango thus called on the Namibia Tourism Board to guide tourists in connection with the taking of people’s pictures without their permission.
Hango said it is generally not polite or acceptable to just take pictures of persons without his/her consent.
Approached for comment, the executive director of the HIZETJITWA Indigenous People Organisation (HIPO), Tjinezuma Kavari told Nampa on Tuesday his organisation had developed a Code of Conduct on picture-taking of Himba communities and other members of HIPO to prevent exploitation of their members in the Kunene Region.
According to Kavari, the code of conduct was drafted in 2001, and has been shared with the Film Commission of Namibia.
“When there are people who want to make films and take pictures of OvaZemba or Himba communities in Kunene Region, the Film Commission of Namibia refers these individuals or organisations to HIPO in order to give them the code of conduct to work with,” he added.
Kavari, however, said the code of conduct on filming indigenous communities did not bare much fruit as expected, due to poor publicity and lack of dissemination at all information centres in the country.