In Namibia we don’t end our school careers with a prom night. Instead we celebrate the ups and downs of 12 years in school with a Grade 12 (Matric) farewell. A grand affair that is getting more spectacular every year. And of course, more expensive.
Living in a small town, one hardly ever gets the opportunity to dress up and go out. When the opportunity presents itself, everyone makes an effort to either be a part of the glitter or to have a good look at the beauty of it all. And so it happens that every year about 20 minutes before the Grade 12’s arrive, little girls and old aunties alike, line up at the red carpet to see the newest and brightest in dress and hair designs. But it is not only the female population that lines up. Oh no, just as the girls are getting more and more competitive in the dresses, the boys are doing the utmost best, to get the shiniest, fastest and most expensive vehicle to bring himself and his beautiful Cinderella to the ball.
For weeks before the big night the girls speculate about one another’s dress – the colour, the amount of money spent on it, the designer (the boutique shop)… and on the big day, girls spent hours getting massages, manicures, hair appointments – and nothing comes free. Every boutique, hairdresser and beautician knows that this is their opportunity to stamp their identity on local fashion. Every mother does her best to make sure her daughter shines and every father makes sure that his son’s car (hired or borrowed) reflects the beauty of the Cinderella within.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and peer pressure is really not child’s play anymore. To every Grade 12 – whether you have just had your farewell or yours are in the coming weeks, good luck. But remember – this is your night to enjoy. No amount of money can do that for you. Beauty comes from within.
Here are the Beauties and the Beasts of Edugate Academy. You were all beautiful!