A Walk Of Love In The Namibian South

02 Oct 2016 11:30am
By Patience Smith

AROAB, 02 OCT (NAMPA) – Eighty-year old Petrus Cupido once walked 170 kilometres from Keetmanshoop to Aroab because he missed his wife and longed to be at his home.
That was three years ago. He was visiting his daughter in Keetmanshoop when he decided one evening that he would wake up and start walking at three o’clock in the morning to get to his beloved wife. His daughter tried to talk him out of his plans but his mind was made up.
“I did not get a lift that day on the road. I walked all the way and reached my house six hours later at 09h00,” the Aroab Townlands farmer told Nampa.
It was worth it, he said, except that he now feels trembles in one leg giving him a slight wobble, “maybe from that walk”.
He is used to walking long distances though; Petrus’ 77-year-old wife Katrina laughed.
Petrus had walked from Okahandja to Windhoek many years ago, when he decided to disembark from a train he took from Otjiwarongo many years ago. As a farmworker for most of his life, Petrus also walked long distances looking after livestock.
He met his wife on a farm they both worked on in the Aroab District more than a half-century ago.
It was not easy for him to impress Katrina as she was also quite a walker.
“Do you know how I ran away from this man? I even ran into the mountains,” Katrina said, but Petrus followed her and they have now been married for 50 years.
Katrina is a tall and well-taken care of woman who stands out with her shimmering rings, earrings and nails polished dark red. Her age and physical abilities do not correlate as she easily finds her way over a small fence to get to their goats in a kraal where they farm with 24 other local farmers.
Katrina laughs often when she talks of their eight children and many grandchildren. She introduces her husband’s eldest son, Benjamin Hendricks, whom he had with another woman. She also calls over Benjamin’s wife Katrina and eldest daughter, Bonita to pose for a photo.
“I love her very much,” Petrus said with a smile, glancing at his wife.
“I have never mistreated her in all our years together, because I respect her very much.”
That was the key to their good marriage, Petrus said, noting “She listens to me and I listen to her”.
He also does not tolerate anybody saying anything negative about his wife.
“I don’t like it, I get so angry and I don’t take it at all,” he said with a chuckle and a glint in his eyes.
The couple dreams of having their own piece of land one day where Katrina wants to cook porridge with fresh milk on the open fire for their grandchildren and where she wants to go for walks with the family’s dogs.
They farm alongside Benjamin on the 1 700 hectare town land they share with the other farmers – and hope to have their livestock on a bigger piece of land to leave behind for their children.