Gondwana – it’s in the art of telling stories.
The Narrative Namibia has been wading into the deep waters of e-commerce for a little over a year now. Check out our anniversary blog from November here Chapter 1
Something, that many of our loyal (and new) users may not be aware of, is that The Narrative Namibia is a descendant of a somewhat older story. While our focus is the art of telling stories, our predecessor took a few steps back with a focus on telling stories and of course ensuring that we actually have stories to tell.
Gondwana Collection Namibia in 2021 celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday. An anniversary that offered opportunity to reminisce and enjoy the stories of then and now, but also to look forward and wonder on where the road will take this genuine Namibian brand.
When the first investors met at their original AGM meeting, in the deep south of Namibia, I doubt they could ever comprehend what this company would become. The original intention was to create a tourism destination to host guests in the larger Fish River Canyon Area, and this income would be used to regenerate the ravished landscape the property found itself in. Here we stand now, almost 26 years later and one (1) lodge in southern Namibia has turned into 47 accommodation offerings across the country. Including car rental, travel agency, online travel agent and the lovely Narrative e-commerce site. Here we are, two years following the Covid-19 break out, and while we may not yet be thriving, we are still moving. Gondwana Collection Namibia remains a beacon of hope for so many Namibians.
What you as a reader need to understand is that Gondwana is not a brand Namibians associate themselves with because there is a wide variety of accommodation options or cars available under our umbrella. When people see the Gondwana hand – they know there is so much more to it than meets the eye.
Following a rebrand in 2015 – the Gondwana Collection Namibia brand took a step away from ‘what was’ and toward ‘what could be’. That Gondwana hand is meant to represent that which makes people good and uniquely human. The various little pebbles that form part of the visual is inspired by the hard, dry landscapes of our country. Where the scorched, thirsty earth cracks apart and each pebble is unique, and own to itself. Linked back to millions of years of geological history; witness to our forefathers and also to the great, great grandchildren we have yet to imagine. Each pebble is still unique and special, never to be recreated by any combination of instances.
Similarly, we have the concept of the hand itself. Beautifully linked to the brand’s philosophy of balance between Social Commitments, Financial Needs and Environmental Responsibility. Here the individuality of the human hand links in with the unique but ever present, Heart Line, Headline and Life Line. It also symbolizes engagement, greeting and connections within communities.
To us, the hand symbolizes this approach to life, and therefore we have created a range of everyday lifestyle products with this logo. Some products are practical, some funny and some can beautifully enrich daily actions or chores. The Gondwana Collection Lifestyle Range technically is the embodiment of our deeper purpose.
Beyond the visual elements, the word Gondwana itself is quite a loaded term, as it derives from the super continent Pangea, from the prehistoric era. Gondwana was the name of the southern hemisphere of the super continent. So here, once again, we have a reference to history but also the “togetherness” through the connections among the different continents of the world today.
Ultimately, Gondwana Collection Namibia is all about connections through stories. The stories our teams share among one another, or between employee and guest. Or the stories guests share with one another following an experience. Gondwana is in the business of experiences and sharing. And it is something we are very proud of.
To some of our team members, Gondwana offers an occupation, and that is completely alright and acceptable. Other members of the same team have slipped into the depthless rabbit hole of this brand where every day brings a new and unique journey. Where you get to meet wonderfully different people and are required to develop new skill sets. But that is part of the magic. It is what makes Gondwana, Gondwana. But it is also what makes us, Gondwanians. And just like Alice and the rabbit and the Mad Hatter – “we’re all mad here”. And it remains wonderfully strange.
At Gondwana we laugh and share and learn and teach. We tell stories, we listen to stories, and we create our own stories. We fall, and we stand up, and we do so together. Welcome to Gondwana – what is your story?
Written by Jescey Bekker