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Welhemina Suro Ganuses, Translator, Guide & Field Assistant

I was born in Sesfontein, which we know as !Nani-|aus (six springs) or by the older ||Khao-a Dama name of ≠ Gabia ≠gao - meaning 'confused heart' and referring to the many strong springs that makes settlement here possible. My grandmother, Philippine |Hairo ||Nowaxas was born 'in the field' at the spring called Sixori that is hidden away in the rugged mountains south-west of Sesfontein. Sixori means 'the place of the xoris' and refers to the Salavadora persica bushes found at this spring, from which the fruits have been amongst those foods that have permitted people to live in the west Namibian landscape. The photo here shows me at Sixori for the first time in March 2015. Through the historical cultural landscapes mapping programme that is part of Future Pasts, we were able to find this place that previously I had only heard about through stories of the past told to me by |Hairo. To relocate this place and the former dwelling sites there we worked closely with the old hunter Opa Ruben Sauneib Sanib who currently lives in Kowareb, rhino ranger Filemon |Nuab, and Ezegiel Ganaseb - son of Andreas !Kharuxab, former headman of Kowareb.


I have been a translator between English, Damara / ≠ Nū Khoen, OshiHerero and Afrikaans languages for a number of research projects since the early 1990s, after becoming a field assistant to Sian Sullivan in 1994, and to Chris Low in the late 1990s. Currently I work as an administrator for Save the Rhino Trust, from which I am seconded to assist with Future Pasts.  

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