This is where it starts: with a shell of a building.
Beyond the door is a past that has almost been forgotten, remembered only by a few. For years this is where the paint that adorns many of the city’s buildings and rooms was mixed and stored; the cavernous interior bears testimony to a former life as one of the busiest factory spaces in the capital. The walls are scarred with age, the floor bears the markings of past use and abuse, the windows are opaque, and the services—the plumbing and the electrical works—need refurbishing. Despite the stillness, a strange energy vibrates through it; the building yearns for the strength for which it was designed, the movement it once harboured, and the memories it helped to paint.
Past the smoke of time is a vision, blurry to most, but clear to the sighted dreamer: a place that can become a home for those who make and remake themselves through dedication, discipline, and determination despite all difficulties.
The vast chamber beyond the sliding gate echoes with eager whispers: history has moved out, the present and the future are about to take up their lease.
This old factory basement was a place that was made.
Now it must be remade.
Images: Through The Smoke. © Rémy Ngamije, Windhoek, 2022.