Starting on a clean platter

By Dorcas Muhungu
February 2012
Editors Note
Welcome to our debut edition of 2012, packed with inspirational and cautionary stories for your mental digestion and ingestion.

The cover story is on the Chief Executive Officer of Otavi Town Council, Moses Matyayi who is also the youngest of the current batch of local authorities CEOs. It is pathetic that 22 years after Independence, Otavi residents still use the bucket system to relieve themselves, bruising and questioning compliance with World Health Organisation health specs and Matyayi, despite his age and daunting tasks, is devoted and determined to move mountains for the good of Otavi.

Bank of Namibia’s Ebson Uanguta who elevated to deputy governor is our man On the Move this month. Also on the move, we salute Peter Benz for doing his homework thoroughly and managing to tap into an un-served market that has become an instant hit with Windhoek residents opening a warehouse in the northern industrial area that sells imported furniture from the United Kingdom at unbelievably affordable prices and easy payment plans. Old habits die hard, indeed.

I bet relinquishing this traditional and habitual practice of eating kapana is synonymous to trying to draw blood out of a stone. If recent research findings on the hazards of consuming braai are anything to go by, then the Ministry of Health must start embarking on a massive awareness campaign. Our health story bares the health risks associated with old tradition that has turned into a social pastime during weekends for many. Research has shown that there are chemicals that are formed during the cooking of meat on the fire like kapana that exposes humans to cancer risks that include stomach cancers.

We also acknowledge MobiPay for ending last year in style by being crowned the Innovative Company of the Year, 2011. On tradition, we have a very interesting story on the significance of the Omusati (Mopane) tree whose uses traditionally and culturally are numerous, including manifesting affectionate feelings towards strangers by the use of twigs. I only wish the same could be true for marriages and I would have suggested the Ministry of Gender seriously consider prompting its use and reduce the escalating number of gender-based violence in the country.

And did I mention that in Oshiwambo culture, stealing an ostrich egg and touching sea-shells is a taboo? Well, it’s all in our artist of the month’s story (Hidishange) who has defied cultural rules to put food on his table.

Let’s enjoy the reads of 2012 starting with this edition and keep exploring the possibilities there are in our country in a bid to make ourselves better Namibians. PF