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A brief history of Turipamwe
Founded in 2011 by Tanya Stroh, Turipamwe is the vanguard design agency in Namibia. The value of our process lies in our collaborative approach. We combine creativity, empathy, and rationality to meet user needs and drive business success.
We are dreamers, thinkers, makers and doers
Some amazing brands and companies we've worked with along our journey
Bush Culture Experience
In October of 2022 went on a team-building getaway to the Ju/'Hoansi-San community of Grashoek together with our mentor Gianluca Massalini, founder of Bush Culture Experience. The Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi-San is the first Living Museum of Namibia, independently run by the community since 2004 and managed by Living Culture Foundation Namibia.
Visit www.lcfn.info for more information.
Life-changing is a term we don’t use loosely. We’ve had some time to reflect on our experiences.
This is what each one of us had to say.
Turipamwe means “We are together” – a concept akin to Ubuntu. The Ju/'Hoansi-San of Namibia live by this creed. In exploring my personal leadership style this year with my mentor Gianluca Massalin, it was important to me to extend the vision of Turipamwe into a tangible lived experience outside the agency walls.
What struck me most about the Ju/'Hoansi-San is their consistent practice of community in how decisions are made and creative story-telling that involved the entire body for expression. It reminded me a lot of certain design thinking concepts, which the San have been practicing for thousands of years.
Namibians and the world at large, have much to learn from the San in their sustainable approach to all aspects of life. It’s been an incredible experience to share with Team Turipamwe.
The bus and Bushman experience was something I really enjoyed. The drive up to our destination was filled with a lot of information from our amazing guide talking about our destination and his experiences with them. The wildlife seen on the road was a welcomed bonus but the watering hole was a real highlight for me. The experience with the bushman was truly spectacular. Learning how to make fire, the in-depth nature walk, making my own bow, and the songs sang, showed me the resourcefulness, innovation, and beauty of the San people. Overall the experience was exciting, a good learning experience, informative, and a lot of fun. I learned a lot about myself and the Turipamwe team.
After mentoring Tanya Stroh on entrepreneurship, the Founder and Owner of Turipamwe, for several months, we decided together that it was time to develop a special ‘training’ for the Talents working in the company. Turipamwe is a vanguard design agency in Namibia and all the value of the Company lies in the people who every day manage and develop the projects for its clients.
Bush Culture Experience believes that in order to create and consolidate a winning team or to stimulate individual growth it’s necessary to go through new and innovative ways of training and that there is nothing so motivating and stimulating as nature. Our idea is that classroom training has taken its time; today it is necessary to find new stimuli and new confrontations to enhance the latent qualities that too often are asleep within the Teams. Being in a new context, completely different from those to which we are accustomed, is an opportunity to rediscover aspects of our character and personality that we did not know we had.
The Team Sharing Experience for Turipamwe was designed on these bases: living and camping together the nature for 3 days and especially the close contact with the San Culture gave to the Team the opportunity to develop those strong HUMAN bonds that are fundamental in a modern working environment like Turipamwe.
I remember being quite nervous to camp for an entire weekend, in a remote area that had no electricity or running water but I also remember reminding myself to go on the trip with an open mind and to embrace it with good energy, and what I got from it was absolutely amazing.
I learned so much about the history of Namibia and the San/Bushman community from both Gianluca and the Bushmen. I further took lessons in communication in a group, trust and leadership from the Bushmen which inspired me to apply those lessons in my personal and professional life.
I’d recommend the Bush Culture Experience and visiting the Living Museums in Namibia any day.
The Bush experience was an incredible experience, the kind that only Namibia can offer. A long drive offering contemplation and reflection in an environment that challenges you and a cultural interaction in stark contrast with what you are acclimated to.
The San people were remarkably at one with the harsh environment of the North in a way that I deeply admired. The techniques they used to hunt animals, find water, move around, and evade wild animals were astonishing to hear. The art they are able to create is beautiful and as I learned recently, matches every outfit. As a city boy, the moment I arrived at the site I was wishing for wifi or a Spar. By the end, their San-ny disposition left me wishing for another day in Bushmanland.
Heading into the trip, I was really excited. To hang out with the gang outside of our comfort zones. The drive – to and from – was pleasant, we had so much fun singing along to some classics. It has been a while since I traveled such a long distance and yet, it was so refreshing to be reminded of our country’s contrasting beauty.
One of my favourite activities was when we had to make a fire as a team. This was an interesting team-building exercise, as it demonstrated the importance of shared enthusiasm, passion, and drive, in order to achieve our goals.
Convenience is something we often take for granted in many ways. The Bush Culture Experience reminded me why it’s important to allow yourself to not be content with much. The beauties of life lie in the experiences with oneself and the experiences shared with others.
The walk with the men in the veld, learning about some of the plants used for medicinal purposes, weapon making, and water resources, I truly enjoyed. The most exciting part however was definitely our one-on-one sessions on bow-making and then the targeting shooting practice. The village went crazy for me, that’s all I’ll say.
We did not speak the same language most of the time, they used their bodies to express what they were saying and that made me think a lot about how our forefathers must have communicated when our tribes first started interacting in the early days that are not documented.
Some learnings from the culture of the San people were
1. Minimalism + Preservation: Only taking what you need from the environment and leaving some for the near future.
2. Zero-waste: When they hunt, every part of the animal from the skin to the tendons is put to use and the lifestyle they lead doesn’t produce non-biodegradable waste.