Renzo Baas


Within less than a decade, Namibia became the futuristic setting for two literary series in the mid-2000s. The Binti trilogy, written by Nnedi Okorafor, was released between 2015 and 2018, just after the Namibia (2010-2016) comic book series, produced by Léo, Bertrand Marchal and Daniel Rodolphe, was published. Both series feature a heroine, space travel, attempts to prevent a cosmic war, and linked to this, the destruction of Earth. Both series also give Namibia a central role in the unfolding of these events – although focussing on different aspects and using differing methods to achieve this. This article explores the (speculative) bodies presented in both novels, their use of technology, the protagonist’s relationships to alien characters, and the role Namibia as a specific geopolitical space plays in these stories. The aim is to understand some of the reasoning behind choosing a former colony as the place of space travel, alien invasions, and superior technology. This in turn may help in offering strategies that allow Namibians to negotiate the country’s violent and traumatic past.