Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Postage Stamps Tell Stories About Namibia

opinion

After successfully launching the book, Stamps & Stories I - 50 Stories on Namibia's Postage Stamps, Gondwana Collection Namibia and NamPost now introduce the second volume, Stamps & Stories II.

Namibia's postage stamps portray the many fascinating facets of our country. Stamps & Stories II contains another 50 entertaining and illustrated stories related to pictures on Namibian postage stamps. Namibians as well as visitors will enjoy the various aspects of our rich culture, nature and history. Small as they are, postage stamps have many stories to tell.

In this volume they tell us of desperate attempts to save the black rhino from extinction; of daring seafarers who sailed around the southern tip of Africa in their quest for new trade routes; of massive trees that bear fruit resembling giant liver sausages; and of delicate little powder baskets woven by true masters of the art of basket weaving.

Namibia's postage stamps are without doubt among the most beautiful in the world. They have won various prizes in international competitions. What is more, the stamps portray the country in its many fascinating facets: 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", said Mannfred Goldbeck, the managing director of the Gondwana Collection Namibia group of lodges, at the book launch.

Gondwana has partnered with NamPost to tell the stories behind the postage stamps. There are similarities between the two companies: both bring people together, they promote Namibia throughout the world and both advance the country's development.

The weekly Stamps & Stories series was launched in four Namibian newspapers in September 2011. Every week a story relating to the picture on a particular stamp would be published. Says Mannfred Goldbeck: "We had three guidelines - vary the topics from week to week, present information in an entertaining way, and keep it short and sweet."

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 Gondwana published four volumes already). The weekly instalments ensured that Namibia's beautiful stamps did not remain hidden in the albums of a few collectors but were made available to the public at large. The books are taking it a step further, safeguarding the fascinating stories about the natural environment, culture and history for future generations. With the series Stamps & Stories NamPost and Gondwana therefore make a valuable contribution to the preservation of Namibia's natural and historical heritage.

The book, Stamps and Stories (Volume 2) is available at Gondwana Collection Office and in bookshops.

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