Ombazu is an Otjiherero word meaning “culture” and is pronounced exactly as it looks “om-bah-zoo.” Otjiherero is the language spoken by the Herero and Himba people in Namibia.
Ombazu was founded in 2021 with an idea to celebrate, explore, and share the vast and diverse cultures in Southern Africa. Mona Brantley chose the name to honour the Himba and Herero people of Northwest Namibia she met in her many travels to Namibia.
In 2016, Mona visited Namibia for the first time and was introduced to the Himba people living and working in Swakopmond. In 2018, Mona received an Honours degree at the University of Johannesburg with her thesis “The Women Are Steering Now”: Female Entrepreneurs Define Success in the Johannesburg Township of Diepsloot.” This thesis allowed her to immerse herself in the township and learn first-hand about women business owners in South Africa. In 2019, Mona began work on an MA in Anthropology, researching a Himba community in Namibia. She had the thumbprint permission from the traditional authority leader of Ohungumere, the Namibian research permit, and a trustworthy translator, but her work “ Individual and Communal Agency and the Voices of Himba in Ohungumure, Namibia” was interrupted with the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately her work was indefinitely put on hold but not before she met many amazing Himbas and Hereros.
Mona has visited over 30 countries from Austria and Aruba to Zimbabwe and Zambia and can’t wait to share Southern Africa and her favorite destinations in the Southern Hemisphere with you.