People of mixed descent are often referred to as coloureds. The coloured community originated in South Africa’s Western Province, where descendants of Caucasian, Malayan and Khoisan people formed their own identity. Namibia’s coloured community consists of about 50 000 people. The coloureds were never allocated a ‘homeland’ under the apartheid rule and now live in towns throughout central and southern Namibia.
Most coloureds speak Afrikaans as a first language, often with strong accents. Namibian Coloureds are often well educated and many of them work in the building trade, education or the civil service. A very localized group of coloureds, the Rehoboth Basters, have their own identity and are considered a separate cultural group.