ONGONGI AND THE CHURCH’S SINFUL SILENCE

THE Villager met his mentor at the time when he had his first musical encounter with an instrument called ongongi (accordion).

Those days, the best hang-out places were puukamba (tavern) which are today’s mbashus. Believe it or not, the discussions at puukambas used to be different from today’s mbashu talk.

Small wonder then that it’s where The Villager met the musician behind ongongi who ended up being his mentor in many ways.

In hindsight, The Villager has come to benefit from the wisdom of his mentor through the accordion. The relationship has helped him understand that there is a reason why he counts more friends in his life who are his senior in age.

Ongongi is so powerful that it helps to propel The Villager’s mentor to his inner being, the short cut to his spirit and it is from such encounters that The Villager has tapped.

It was through Ongongi that The Villager came to cherish, forever treasure and appreciate the contribution of traditional, religious, spiritual and political leadership in shaping a vigilant, disciplined, and thereby patriotic Namibian.

That became a vision of trinity. The mentor continues to wet the foundation of trinity without cease. He continues to meet leaders from the same pillars on a daily basis. He continues to encourage The Villager to focus on the same. You create beautiful harmony by paging the accordion. The same principle applies to the real life situation.

For The Villager, there are many ways for one to become a role model. Otherwise, how else will the future generations grow to appreciate the wisdom of ka kola ke ku lye (biting the hand that feeds).

The Villager believes that trinity is and shall remain the strong pillars of the Village. Thus it’s very crucial that trinity remains grounded and strong. The Villager feels that none of the trinity should be allowed to become more powerful than the other. Even the struggle for independence was achieved because the trio were grounded in equal measure.

Thus for the future to be secure, the trio should grow in equal measure. The Villager is in a way satisfied with the calibre of young people political parties continue to attract (investment in human capital). He is equally over the moon now that the youth from all sorts of calling are taking a keen interest in traditional matters.

However, he is not convinced by the calibre of the youth the church is attracting in their leadership today. It pains The Villager that charismatic churches are attracting and in the process confusing more young people to their churches.

More often than not most of these churches pack up and go after they have milked enough money from Villagers. Religious-entrepreneurship at its best. He is equally anguished that the church’s voice is missing from revolt over the fact that people from faraway places are taking over business opportunities.

For the Villager, the lack of voices from the church in protecting and encouraging local business is sinful.

The Villager feels that the church should be the first to be worried about the same because the people being elbowed out of business are their members. These are the people who contribute to church activities and renovate the dilapidated infrastructure as well as throw a lifeline to their congregations.

In fact, The Villager contends that the people from faraway places will never become their members in any way. Yes, their offspring may become Villagers by virtue of birth. But will never become their members. The church is equally guilty of promoting businesses run by people from faraway places. How? By buying from these businesses as “their products are cheaper than the ones from their members”.

Lol. (Laugh out Loud) That is where the relationship begins and ends. The church does not even have influence over its own music. It’s being commercialised in a way they do not control. The church should make herself relevant to her members across all the strata of the society and at all times as opposed to Sundays only. Why are the traditional churches having blinkers? The more the church members prosper in business, the more that “plate circulated during every church session is filled with Villagers’ precious notes”.

The church should re-activate herself and claim her rightful place within the government run by her members and influence different ministries, parastatals and private companies to treasure the importance of doing business with indigenous owned companies. After all, business like church, politics or traditional leadership is about numbers.

Thus their members will never yiike koshitayi ya londako (forsake the church). The power of trinity will never be strong enough when there is a missing link. Therefore, none of the three pillars should feel threatened when the other raises a voice from within. That should be treasured as it’s the only way ongongi shall remain in tune.

Thus it’s perfect when the voices do not sound the same.

The Villager contends that the current political leadership sometimes gets confused when it comes to religious leaders. Who would forget the role some church leaders where trying to play through some “church coalition” on the eve of 2004 elections?

Those were aapagani (pagans) and anarchists. Anybody who tries to create platform/s outside the prevailing and tested structure/s is not to be trusted. She or he is a source of ombwela (anarchy). Bravo to the church for resisting their structures to be used to promote ombwela in the name of democracy.

The Villager’s mentor has maintained a healthy relationship with all in the trinity. Personal affinity is a major contributor to the same. Thus trust and respect is the corner stone of the trinity. The two characters are moulded overtime.

The mentor will always share heartily with The Villager stories of how they (within the trinity) worked with this church leader to overcome a certain difficulty. He will always talk about how he and politician so and so helped to divert the attention of the oppressors to petty issues so that omalenga and nooyene yomikunda are not swallowed by the same. It pleases the heart when you see how the leaders of yesteryear have maintained and solidify their relationship to date. Much to the disappointment of the power hungry and impatient “leaders” running out of time.

Every time The Villager sees the genuine synergy manifesting itself among that generation of leaders, he wonders when the current crop of leaders will start. Are they waiting for the sun to set and darkness dawn on that generation? Who are they waiting to remind them that the sun is at its best when it rises and sets?

The more they prolong, the more the enemies of peace and progress will become opportunistic and pick one of their cronies. The end result will be civil unrest.

To reveal the mentor’s identity would be a discord to the rhythm of ongongi.
The Villager continues to enjoy the power of ongongi. PF