Every 21 March is Independence Day in Namibia. This is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the country and is the great day of Namibian patriotism. The date marks the day in 1990 when independence from South Africa was officially recognised.
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At first, what is now Namibia was the German colony of Southwest Africa, but following World War I, it came under control of South Africa, as arranged by the League of Nations. Even after many years rolled by, however, South Africa refused to give up administration of Namibia, claiming the people of that region wanted to remain under their oversight.
But soon, a guerrilla group (SWAPO) arose and challenged South African rule in Namibia. They objected to apartheid and other unpopular aspects of South African policy. Soon, they won a major victory at Omugulugwombashe, and yet, the war did not end. It dragged on for 24 years.
By 1988, the conflict had largely ceased, but it wasn’t until two years later in 1990 that South Africa officially ended the war and granted Namibian independence on 21 March.
On Independence Day, the people of Namibia take to the streets to celebrate their hard-won independence. There are parades and a host of other celebratory events, and many people get off work to attend the celebrations.