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Namibia’s Himba Tribe Featured On BBC’s ‘Tribal Wives’

Paul Campbell - July 7, 2008

Six women each live for a month with six different tribes all over the world. In this upcoming episode of Tribal Wives, Yvonne Power, a 36-year-old single working mother of three, goes to live with the Himba in Namibia.

The Himba are a semi-nomadic tribe of pastoralists who live on the harsh sun-baked plains of northern Namibia. The women are striking, covering their hair and bodies in red ochre. They are a polygamous tribe where men can have up to five wives and marriages are arranged for girls when they are young as 12 years old.

Yvonne is ground down by the daily routine of nine-to-five and coping with the demands of a family. As she struggles with the Himbas’ deep gender divides and arranged marriages, she begins to make discoveries about herself – especially when drought threatens to devastate the village.

If you miss it on Wednesday, you can catch it again on https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/


  1. Hi, My name is Aiobheann the english spelling is “Yvonne”. I was episode 4 of tribal wives shown on BBC2 June,July & August this year.

    Now, I have to say that I am not particularly well travelled. I was married very young myself at only 16 actualy, and much of these years have being trying to play catch up as so to speak. I grew up in the republic of Ireland. The trip to Namibia was only the third holiday i ever had and I am now 36. So…….Namibia….Where do I start.

    It is absolutely beautiful. I saw so many animals that historically, I saw in zoos. Giraffe, walking freely in the wild, the list goes on.

    It was quite funny actually because, even though I have never been to many places, people assume that tigers live in Africa.

    In addition to the absolutely beautiful countryside, the people were absolutely amazing and so welcoming.

    The tribe of the Himba people are really struggling at the moment, with huge concerns with their water supply. They do their best to be self sufficient. The women pride themselves on making themselves beautiful every day, however they dont have to try very hard. They are beautiful and ooze self confidence and assurance.

    Although I spent over a month with my tribe, living as they do, and working as they did, was not such a huge movement for me. When I was a little girl growing up in the republic of ireland, which was basically a third world country at that time, every now and again we had tourists from America. We used to run after them in total awe and ask them to send us letters from the US. So when I went to Namibia and saw the children running after me, I thought little do you know………….I was you some years ago………

    Namibia is absolutely beautiful. I can so recommend it as a holiday destination. The people make the place that it is. That is another thing, Namibia only gained independence in the 1990s, so there is a huge cosmopoliton population, which provides so many angles to the country. The weather is beautiful. Me being Irish, and having lived in England for the past 14 years, was totally not used to the heat. I was there in February/March and I just accepted the heat. At one stage, my counterparts stated, Ewonny! Ewonny! come out of the sun…………..it was absolutely grand. In retrospect, I cannot remember one day, that I felt actually cold……….

    So this is from a tribal wife, that lived in such extreme conditions……..Get your visa and GO! You will not be dissapointed.

    I send this email with tremendous goodwill

    Best wishes,

    Aiobheann Power

    Comment by Aiobheann — October 17, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Dear Aiobheann,

    Tribal Wife’s Episode 4 was aired in New Zealand tonight. My heart went out to you Aionhean as i could see you carrying around lots of hurts from your passed. I wanted to leave you a message to say that you are a beautiful woman and i hope and pray that your spirit is lifted and that you can overcome and find happiness.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Michelle Beer

    Comment by MIchelle Beer — November 26, 2008 @ 11:31 am

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