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Discovering Namibia – Spinning the Kids off the Streets

Live at Windhoek Spin City in Otjiwarongo, March 2017.

Thousands of small pebbles are catapulted at my bare arms and legs, a cloud of dust engulfs my face. Momentarily, I feel like I’m in a battlefield and there is no place to hide from the attack.

As my view gets clearer, I focus my eyes back to the action right in front of me. A car is racing past, comes to an abrupt halt and starts spinning around its own axe. Suddenly, the driver jumps out, watches his car turn around him and jumps on the hood. A few more circles and he’s back behind the wheel.

Spinning Round and Burning Rubber

We’re at the Otjiwarongo Spin Show in Namibia. Here, tuned cars are drifting and spinning on the gravel, while their drivers are conducting crazy stunts and burning rubber.

According to “Windhoek Spin City’s” organisers Joel Nambahu and Emmanuel “Driver”, spinning  is one of Namibia’s fastest growing sports. In the midst of the roaring crowd, boys and young men of various ages – the youngest is Joel’s 10-year old son – are showing their skills.

Live at Windhoek Spin City in Otjiwarongo with Joel Nambahu's youngest son on the hood, March 2017.

Live at Windhoek Spin City in Otjiwarongo with Joel Nambahu’s youngest son on the hood, March 2017.

Keeping the Kids off the Streets

But this isn’t just about entertainment: “We are trying to keep the kids off the streets”, explains Joel. Before they started their initiative, young boys were taking their cars to the streets illegally, often leading to accidents and injuries.

With “Windhoek Spin City”, Joel and his crew are offering the kids a save environment in which they are teaching them how to spin, drift and perform stunts without harming themselves.

In March 2017, I got the opportunity to witness the results live in the small city of Otjiwarongo, two-hours north of Namibia’s capital Windhoek. Follow me here: