CONFIDENTIAL NOTES

SINCE this is the first issue of a new year, Prime Focus takes the opportunity to welcome its readers to a new volume.

A noticeable but sad 2010 development is that Namibians have developed a penchant for theorising, passing negative criticism while being inactive, to the extent that we sometimes become loud spectators of a game we are supposed to be playing, hoping that events will unfold by themselves for the betterment of our livelihoods.

Yet the cold reality is that the destiny of our economy is in our hands.

It is Prime Focus’ hope and desire to put decision makers on the spot and publish articles and profile that change such negative criticism and inaction.

When the 2050 generation looks back to our post-independence-2030 generation, what will they say about us? Prime Focus has the privilege of writing the story for the 2050 generation.

We open this 2011 account by putting one of Namibia’s most troubled organisations, the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) on the spot.

If a list of 2010 haunted institutions was to be compiled, the NBC would certainly top the list following their eventful year which saw a lot of changes taking place at executive level without any meaningful changes being effected.

Current NBC Director General, Albertus Aochamub, gives a positive impression of the organisation’s 2011 prospects and for years beyond in our cover story for this month. Admittedly, the problems befalling NBC are natural and expected. Although he stops short of outlying his whole recipe for success, Aochamub leaves strong impressions that something concrete is brewing for the corporation hence the belief that sooner, NBC will be hiring more and perhaps stabilise its pockets.

NBC must therefore be challenged to start spelling out all its activities of change to the public and counter the perception that it has become a wounded beast with vultures roaming around it.

Gone were the days when the media was the only source of information, as everyone is now in a position to tell the world their story without the editor’s goodwill. Everyone is now generating content and circulating it the world over and that is the new world we are now living in. Ideas can circulate without the institutional mediation of editors and NBC should find ways of moving with the changing times.

Already, I find it worrisome that there is no strong complement between state media from their advertising to editorial content, despite the financial faith government injects in these media organs.

While Aochamub lauded NBC staff for holding fort in the mist of yester-year storms, NBC personnel should now be equipped with all the necessary skills to deliver where people should drive themselves towards the job and not from it. Prime Focus hopes to have a follow up interview at the end of Aochamub’s contract to zoom in on his achievements come 2015.

There is need for this ‘beast’ as Aochamub puts it, to make sure everyone is clear on the performance frameworks for it to scale to dizzy heights. Everyone from the board chairman to the shop floor sweeper should be evaluated with measurable targets and clear benchmarks. Quarterly reviews on performance should be made and clear consequences on failure to meet set targets articulated.

There are a lot of things that are great about being an African and then there are some that are really bothersome. The book under review this month, Capitalist Nigger is an eye opener to the current discourse surrounding development and how to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as a lot has been postulated in trying to explain why most African states seem to be struggling.

Although a lot of African failure has to do with simply doing things the way they’ve always done and failing or refusing to adapt to the realities of an ever changing global village, the reviewer of Capitalist Nigger in this edition focuses on how the author of the book has labelled the black colour anywhere in the world as being ignorant and seemingly condemned.

You will also find columnist, The Villager’s insistence in Just a Call that Namibia has a disempowered mass of young people and a youth grappling to define itself in the maze of rapid socio-eco-cultural transformations due to the church’s continued silence on matters of empowerment.

True, the youth have little say over matter of governance; have little representation in decision-making and policy formulation. Young people are not afforded much of a voice in the media and its coverage of critical issues that ultimately impact on their lives.

Changing what our future looks like ought to be the business of our generation and the story of Sacky Shanghala’s new appointment in this edition should excite you the reader. Happy Reading. PF