Windhoek — Gondwana Collection Namibia in cooperation with Namibia Post Limited on Monday night launched a book called 'Stamps & Stories', which contains 50 entertaining and illustrated stories with pictures of Namibian postage stamps.
Among the fascinating stories in the book are the dangerous life of postal runners of almost 200 years ago; facts on exploding mushrooms; the medicinal properties of Devil's Claw; the gladiator insect, which was discovered only recently; a reluctant steam ox; the Mbalantu woman's braided hair touching the ground and the Brukkaros Mountain.
New Era has been featuring some of these stories once a week since 2011. The success of the newspaper series triggered the idea of publishing a collection of the stories in book form similar to the Gondwana History booklets, of which three volumes have already been published.
According to the Gondwana Collection Namibia group of lodges, the book is a Namibian portrait resembling a mosaic, which may even surprise those who know the country inside out. It covers the country's natural environment, culture and history in a colourful mix.
Gondwana Collections describes Namibia's postage stamps as among the most beautiful in the world, as evidenced by the various prizes they have won at international stamp competitions.
The stamps portray the country in its many fascinating facets, such as the plant and animal life, attractions and population groups, public figures, achievements and history.
Every significant event in Namibia, before and after independence, has been commemorated with a stamp. "The fascinating stories of the country's natural environment and history can hardly be told in a more vivid manner than this," Mannfred Goldbeck, the managing director of Gondwana Collection Namibia said at the book launch.
Some stamps dating back to the eras of German or South African rule are seen as quite controversial today. "However, our stories offer the opportunity to deal with the controversy and to rectify history. Take for instance the stamp depicting Curt von Francois. In German colonial times he was seen as the founder of Windhoek. In our story we add that Jonker Afrikaner settled in Windhoek before that," Goldberg explained.
For NamPost, the book combines the past, present and future. The first two stories are a memorial to the postal runners, the pioneers of 19th century postal services in Namibia. The volume also marks the 20-year jubilee of postal services in Namibia since independence, and the enthusiastic response of readers at home and abroad show that the appeal of letters and postcards remains undiminished in the age of email.