Namibia: Friday 6th March
Episode two of Welcome to My World is a visit home to Namibia for entrepreneur Maria Angolo - accompanied by her step daughter, Dubliner Melanie Duffy. A former freedom fighter when an apartheid regime ruled her homeland, Maria left home at 16 telling her mother she'd be back in time for tea. She didn't return for nearly 20 years.
In Dublin since 1981, Maria set up her own nursing agency. Last year she won the Ethnic Entrepreneur Best Idea award. She's smart and articulate. Her partner's daughter is 29-year-old Melanie Duffy. Melanie describes her Dad as "pure, pure Dub." She says when she tells people her Dad's girlfriend is from Namibia "they sometimes look at you, til you say, yes, she is black. But if I'm cool with it, they're cool with it."
Maria returns to her Namibian homeland with Melanie in tow. The journey gives Melanie real insight into what life was like growing up under apartheid, and the pair revisit her memories of running away from home to join Namibia’s freedom movement - a decision that ultimately resulted her 16 years exile from Namibia. Maria is reunited with her twin sister and her mother and they meet the deputy Prime Minister, a woman who was a friend of Maria's when they were soldiers together.
Melanie is stunned by the rapturous welcome they receive in Maria's home township of Swakopmund. For mother of two Melanie, the town is miles apart from life in Dublin - complete with townships, deserts and quad biking! Maria spent a lot of her childhood playing on the sand dunes of the Namib Desert, she insists Melanie experiences them on an adrenaline fuelled quad biking tour of the world’s highest sand dunes. As Maria welcomes Melanie to her world, their relationship and understanding of each other grows stronger and Welcome to My World turns out to be the trip of a lifetime.
This is a fascinating look at a country rarely seen on Irish TV, and at the changing face of the Irish family.