K-State’s first Namibian student presents at International Coffee Hour

Naemi Shaipeni speaks about the country of Namibia. (Dylan Connell | Collegian MedIa Group)

On Friday, Nov.15, the International Student Center hosted the final International Coffee Hour of the semester. This month, the event featured a presentation over the small, southwestern African nation of Namibia.

Graduate student in pathobiology, Naemi Shadipeni gave a presentation about Namibia, detailing the nation’s precolonial history, colonial history, landscape, food, tourism and notable people.

Naemi referred Namibia to as her favorite country in the world. She was especially passionate about three specific portions of her presentation: landscape, people and food. She first talked about why she loved the Namibian landscape.

“When you look at the west side of the country, we have the dessert meeting the Atlantic ocean,” Shadipeni said. “I am actually proud of this fact, because there are very few places in the world where the desert meets the sea.”

Following her explanation of Namibia’s unique landscape, Shadipeni explained the Namibian people as divided into several tribal groups. She explained the various divisions among tribes that were usually a result of the way each one farmed.

“My group that I would like you to take note of are the Bantu people which make up almost half of the population. You can identify them by the pink attire, which is what I am wearing now.” she said.

Shadipeni then talked about the food of Namibia.

“Getting to the food — which is my favorite part — pap is a flat looking bread served with spinach which we cultivate from our fields, and we have that with chicken or any other red meat we have,” said Shadipeni. “One of my favorite foods is a delicacy, and that is caterpillars, they are actually the most expensive food that you can find, but they are so good.”

Following the presentation, the attendees of the event were welcomed to join in a tasting of traditional Namibian food made by Shadipeni, herself. The plates included the pap and spinach mentioned in her presentation, along with steak seasoned in numerous Namibian style spices and flat cakes.

Attendee of the event and freshmen in management information systems and spanish, Lili Chen, said she thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and food.

“Usually when you go and you hear informational speeches it’s just like you’re getting facts and numbers spat at you,” said Chen. “But these were all very interesting facts and more thought was put into it and more intent was put into it. It was so interesting because it was her personal experience with the country.”