Namibia: Once a Nomad
Can a Namibian tech entrepreneur enhance the lives of nomadic Himba people through his app?
Can mobile phone apps be designed to help make a better world? Life Apps challenges young software developers from around the world to visit remote communities, to experience their everyday hardships and create app solutions to improve their lives – a ‘life app’.
You cannot be more isolated than Namibia’s Himba people, a nomadic tribe, following their cattle herds around the harsh, arid landscape of northern Namibia.
They do not wear western clothes, preferring traditional attire and striking hairstyles. Most Himba cannot read or write, and yet they do use mobile phones – often travelling for days to try and decipher a text. Even basic education is a problem for people who are always on the move, poor signal strength is another obstacle.
The Himba want to able to hold onto their traditional way of life but they also want to be able to understand and interact with the settled society.
They are dubious that a life app can help, but Windhoek-based mobile software developer Dalton wants to try.
The Namibian tech entrepreneur visits the nomadic Himba people for the first time to see if an application could enhance their lives. So can Dalton build an app to help the illiterate and isolated Himba people market their goods and communicate more effectively?