Inspirational retired nurse plants her own forest

09 October 2019 | Life Style

Retired nurse Emilia Angala (63), a resident of Ongwediva, has created her own forest of more than 400 trees which all grow together, competing for space, water and sunlight. Her feat went viral after Namibian Sun shared it on social media recently.

She spends about N$2 000 a month on water for the trees in Kuku GwaKondo Gardens, situated behind the Charles Anderson Combined School in Ongwediva.

Although many of the trees in her garden are fruit trees, her objective is not to generate income, but to create a green oasis in the heart of a modern town.

The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) has nominated Angala for the Tree Award 2019.

In celebration of Arbor Day the Botanical Society presents certificates of recognition to any person, company, organisation, school or establishment that goes out of their way to save and protect Namibia's indigenous trees.

Angala was therefore nominated for this year's awards, which will be handed over in Windhoek on Thursday on 17 October.

According to National Herbarium of Namibia curator Frances Chase, they read Angala's inspirational story in the 2019 Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair supplement recently published by Namibia Media Holdings (NMH).

Chase said the award is in recognition of Angala's determination.

“After we learned about Angala from the trade fair publication, we researched about her and we found out that this is not her first garden. She had another garden that was destroyed during the expansion of the Ongwediva-Oshakati road. It appears to us that after that incident, she did not give up, but she went ahead and established another garden to continue what she had started,” Chase said.

“Although not all her trees are indigenous, we notice that she also conserves indigenous trees together with the non-locals. That is what qualifies her for the award. We got in touch with her to give us a list of all the indigenous trees in her garden.”

Angala started planting trees in 1986 when she established her previous garden situated along the Ongwediva-Oshakati main road, but it was destroyed in 2013 to make room for the road expansion.

“I grew up with my father and our house was in a forest. He introduced me to the world of trees and I fell in love with nature. When I started working as a nurse in the 1970s, I learned that living in an environment surrounded by trees is a healthy thing. I started learning the importance of trees and what different trees do,” said Angala.

“I therefore started a garden in Ongwediva in 1986 and before it was destroyed in 2013 I had planted over 500 trees. I moved the garden to my house inside Ongwediva and currently I have over 400 trees. The idea is not to generate income from them, but just to live a unique, healthy lifestyle. Everything I need is in the garden.”

Angala said that as a busy nurse, she used to plant trees and take care of her garden during weekends, and after she retired in 2016 she came home to her paradise.

She said staying in town one is exposed to dirty air from factories and car emissions, but she is living a healthy life as her house is surrounded by plants.

Fruit trees such as mango, orange, lemon, cashew and avocado, and indigenous trees such as camelthorn, all grow together in her garden.

She said the reason why she planted all of them together is because every tree has its role in the ecosystem.

Angala also helps other people plant trees at their homes.

“During the OATF I always sell trees to people. Those who buy a lot of them, I go and plant them myself at their places for free. The idea is to teach them how to do it,” Angala said.


Similar News


Making sparks along the way

1 month - 14 July 2020 | Life Style

Here she talks about the highs and lows of her journey in a mostly male-dominated profession.Q:What is your biggest source of inspiration?A:I’m mostly inspired by...

From her kitchen to you

9 months ago - 18 October 2019 | Life Style

Justicia Shipena Shiwomeho Kalla is a highly ambitious young woman.She is resolute in her resolve to build, transform and inspire. In August...


11 months ago - 10 September 2019 | Life Style

Yolanda NelDie wenners van vanjaar se Skolesjef van die Jaar-kompetisie wat verlede week plaasgevind het, is Olajumoke Lenntich van die Waldorf-skool in die afdeling vir...

Ellen Pakkies shares all

1 year - 09 July 2019 | Life Style

“I just wanted to talk to him; ask him politely why he refuses to leave the drugs; that is all I intended to do that...

We are kept in dark places - Katrina

1 year - 14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak...

CSR is a powerful tool

1 year - 19 March 2019 | Life Style

JEMIMA BEUKES Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not just about making a social investment grow, but also about fostering smart partnerships between profitable entities and...

Navigating your finances as a couple

1 year - 22 February 2019 | Life Style

February may be the month of love, but we all know financial differences can place a huge strain on any relationship. Fortunately, if you approach...

Auntie Nangy

2 years ago - 20 July 2018 | Life Style

Is my lover too young?Dear Auntie Nangy, I am a girl of 20 and I am dating a man of the same age as me....

Veteran educator dies

2 years ago - 01 July 2018 | Life Style

Veteran educator and politician Otillie Abrahams passed away on Sunday morning, a family member has confirmed. Abrahams passed away in her sleep at the Paramount...

SRT joins in Queen's birthday celebration

2 years ago - 08 June 2018 | Life Style

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday, and as a wedding present to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the day was celebrated with the...

Latest News

Thought leadership

21 hours ago | People

NDANGI KATOMAIn a very short time, the coronavirus has changed so much about our lives.It is easy to think you’ll never get ahead when you...

Marketing through the lens of...

21 hours ago | People

ESTER KAMATIAs part of the DOLOLO group of entrepreneurs and a 2019 alumnus of the Africa Pathfinders Leadership initiative, Andreas Elifas’s objective is to attain...

Price monster hungry

21 hours ago | Economics

Although annual overall inflation in Namibia last month stayed unchanged at 2.1%, annual overall food inflation increased to 6.2% - up from 4.9% in June...

Tough times for mines in...

21 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Of the 16 operating mining companies included in the latest annual review of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, six last year...

Fishing quota auction storm grows

21 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment's decision to auction off its fishing quota, and then use the proceeds to finance its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing...

Samherji begs for release of...

21 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKIcelandic firm Samherji, which is at the centre of the Fishrot bribery scandal, has asked Namibian authorities to release its fishing vessel Heinaste, which...

Education kneecapped by shortage of...

21 hours ago | Education

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUEducation minister Anna Nghipondoka says Namibia has a backlog of over 5 000 classrooms, which has made it a challenge to comply with the...

Growing hip-hop in the north

21 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKSkipper Wills' breakthrough came in 2017 when he was selected to take part in the Old & New hip-hop documentary. He has since...

Kay-Z Bearens on his 2020...

21 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Rapper Kay-Z Bearens released his first single in 2015, and though on the underground scene, he's pushed his music over the years.In...

Load More