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MYD Africa: Understanding the Value of Living a Rooted Life

This episode of the MYD Africa Show throwback series looks back at Joel Karabo Elliott’s interview where he talks about his interests and passion for Namibia, music, social development and education. 

An advocate for conscious social development, he is also a musician, composer, permaculturalist and an educator.

Growing up in America, Joel quickly grew tired of what he calls a lack of creativity and began yearning for a taste of a lifestyle that is rooted, which inspired his move back to Namibia.

On how he was introduced to music, he says; “I discovered it at basketball games. I was going and sitting next to the trombone section of the pipe band. We had a trombone in the family that I would start to play at a very young age. Pulled it out, like four years old, this huge thing, pulled it out of the closet, tried to play it, blow in it, and then my mom just saw the gift, she saw the passion and she gave me piano lessons from a young age, so I had that kind of privilege.”

He strongly encourages this kind of support by parents in order for children to get a head start in pursuing their dreams. “A parent obviously wants to kind of in a sense plan the life of a child growing up and give them the opportunities that they want … As a parent, I would want to expose my child to music as early as possible, and surround them with inspiration,” he says.

Joel also shares his advice on how individuals can build connections that build them.

“I think if we are individuals and we value our individuality and our own trunk and our own branches and our own flowers, that’s number one. Not to say we are then distinct or separate from the next tree and the next person, but that we remain in touch all the time, not becoming a loner although we are individually valued and worthy, but also always connected with one another.”

For him, family is not just blood relatives, but it’s all the people one connects with on a physical and spiritual level, and who share common ideas, “because eventually, when the unsustainability of the global system and the economy does finally collapse on itself, we only have each other,” he says. 

Joel encourages Namibians to explore their country in order to cultivate a broader perspective on life. “I mean you know you come across, even in the short visit, you come across a lot of people. We share, we are going to Brandberg or Spitzkoppe, and they say “oh wow, I’ve never been there”. I think you live just like a few hours away and it’s not judgement or criticism, but it’s just like, go, go out there, go just to the land. Let the land speak to you.”

Ending off the interview, John adds on a high note; 

“Don’t be afraid to know that you are loved and you are whole. Life’s too short to hang your head so low”.

Watch the MYD Africa Show on One Africa TV every Tuesday at 20h00 with repeats on Thursdays at 06h30 and Sundays at 19h30.