By Confidence Musariri
March 2011
Editors Note
21 years and counting...

In the history of every nation there comes a time when a generation has a unique opportunity to break with the past and define a new direction. Such a momentous occasion currently presents itself in our country.

For us to seize the time and deliver change it requires putting national interest before partisan, sectoral and personal interests. It demands that we apply our minds and out-think the past. The veil of invincibility was pierced on March 21 1990, so our independence will be meaningless without the sanctity and integrity of every person’s participation in the economy and those that rule our country must do so with the consent of the governed.

More than ever, it becomes imperative for all the progressive and democratic forces in the country to close ranks in pursuit of the collective national interest. We must seek to establish a peaceful and secure environment for those moving forward, acknowledging that Namibian citizens will be key drivers of economic revolution.

This month of our Independence Day, Namibians must rededicate themselves to meaningful and total economic independence. The people should govern. The people must prosper.

Twenty Independence Day speeches by Namibia’s first President and the current one will differ completely from this year’s.

A new journey has started on a road never taken before. Twenty one means coming of age. No more being a province of South Africa.

With patriotism and pragmatism, our founding fathers charted a course for the greatness of this country. While there were differences and disagreements, they did not waver in their desire to build a country which future generations would be proud of. They made compromises and sacrifices. They toiled night and day to build a viable country where progress and peace would reign supreme.

While the general opinion is that Namibia has sprinted ahead of the pack in the race toward prosperity, many Namibians despair that certain dreams and expectations of independence have not yet been fulfilled, due to the slow pace of progress.

For Namibia to progressively avoid sliding down the African totem pole, it needs good political leadership, avoid public complacency, and avoid the loss of the spirit that fuelled the independence movement: a love of country that transcended personal interests.

Prime Minister Nahas Angula, in our lead story this month which coincides with 21 years of independence, laments the emergence of a mix-and-match attitude – to each his own – that has allowed corruption and patronage politics to flourish and gives hints to the need for retaining the ancient landmark that surrounded the independence movement.

He is among the men and women who envisioned a land of freedom and one of opportunity, 21 years ago.

I believe the 21st of March should always be an opportunity for us as a nation to reflect, take stock and define new trajectories and Angula is spot on when he calls for Namibians to always observe, the roots of independence.

We are yet to really enter those uniquely invidious circumstances that other countries older than us face. There is need to unlock and leverage the collective wisdom, moral authority, bargaining power and numerical strength that is unleashed by a cooperating and united country. History will not absolve this generation if we falter on this agenda of moving together as one.

We must take charge of our lives and not abdicate on our obligations to the continent.

March is a month when we need to pause and appreciate who we are, what we have, and to reflect on the encouraging possibilities ahead. There is certainly much to celebrate: our freedom, our strength, our unity and our resilience.

This is also a time for stock-taking, to consider our past so that it will inform our future. This is a time to look forward to the great opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Namibia. Hence our decision this month to look at who is and who has been watching Government watchdogs?

I prefer to see the silver lining in the dark cloud rather than the dark cloud in the silver lining.

We may not have landed a spaceship on the moon or developed nuclear technology yet, but this is the time to find ways to give birth to future inventors and innovators, who will, one day, make globally acknowledged contributions through looking at our education and other systems of influence.

Prime Focus has already profiled top Namibians from different stratum, indications that within us are potentials that can be harnessed for greatness.

It is unfortunate that no Nobel Prize has gone to an Africa on matters of research or scientific as all have either been Literature or other social contributions, but a new era is being created as we turn 21. This through changing the old ways of doing things but yet sticking to the core values of patriotism, hard work, integrity and commitment to good governance.

Happy 21st independence anniversary Namibia. PF