Greeting of the Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Neville Gertze, on the occasion of the concert of the Waldorf School Windhoek Choir at the Freie Waldorfschule Berlin Südost on 9 June 2012
Dear teachers of the Freie Waldorfschule Berlin Südost, dear choir members from Namibia, dear students of the Waldorfschule
Southeast, dear guests and friends of Namibia, I am very happy to welcome you today as guests of a wonderful Namibian evening. I am honored to celebrate with you the Namibian music as well as the good German-Namibian partnership between the two schools Waldorf School Windhoek and Freie Waldorfschule Berlin Südost. The concert "HIT THE BEAT" is a nice opportunity to reflect the special relationship between these two schools.
We are all aware of the social and cultural differences between our two countries. But music is a language in which all people in this world can communicate with each other. Since our approach to the school partnerships is based on friendship, honesty, and equality, the event tonight provides us with another chance to bring people together and exchange ideas. From that, the students but also their families and friends will definitely benefit. Namibia has a variety of choirs singing traditional but also contemporary songs. Many choirs tour around the world, take part in international choir competitions and became an important cultural export product of Namibia. The choir of the Waldorf School Windhoek can also be regarded as a kind of cultural Ambassador for our country which promotes mutual understanding, friendship and a long-term partnership between Namibia and Germany. The “Hit the Beat” project began 14 years ago and was inspired by a student’s idea. A young German 12grader developed the idea to do a drum project. His teacher, Ms Simone de Picciotto, supported that project and began to attend drumming workshops herself. Soon the first drums had been bought and the first drumming group founded. Since then, Simone has been regularly drumming and singing with children in schools. Seven years later, Ms de Picciotto came to Namibia to teach music at the Waldorf School in Windhoek where she continued to work together with her students on the music project. Tonight, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of this intense work, the programme “HIT THE BEAT”, which is already quite known in Namibia. Please, enjoy with me, and be inspired by the rhythm of a young and ambitious choir from Namibia. Thank you!