Be motivated, be inspired, be involved
If the Namibian dream implies leaving a remote village and making it in the city, then the Founding President, Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma eptomises and personifies it.
Just like visitors who came to The Village from distant places, armed only with a suitcase, today, they command wealth compared to none. Today, they are role models in their own rights. All of them were motivated by only a dream and yes, it is that dream to make a difference in their lives that inspired them.
But, who are they? What makes them tick? The Villager can only vouch for Sam Nujoma. How? Ride on as it took 22 years for The Villager to get the answer.
When Villagers prosper, they say, “Me, myself and I” and run out of options or are cornered, they tend to speak “French” - We! We! We! When they fail, they tend to drag everyone in their self-made red-hot fires; unless you want to play it safe like The Villagers’ favourite actor, Robert De Niro in the movie NYC 22, telling the rocky police officers, “Don’t get hurt. Don’t hurt anyone
. . . in essence, just stand there.”
Hmm! What a piece of advice to polite cadets about to be deployed, for the first time in crime-ridden New York City! Believe it or not, it worked. You know moss, what they say: To catch a thief, you must be a thief! That’s just another version of being streetwise. That’s the reason why people who come from faraway places touch The Village and end up ahead of the Villagers. But, where do Villagers get it wrong? It defeats The Villager’s logic that the Village headsmen and women regard fencing off the sweetest well in the Village by visitors as cool.
The Villager had a rare opportunity to sit in an interview of the Founding Father, Dr Sam Shafiishuna NUJOMA recently. The more he narrated his past, the more The Villager could hear the echoing voices of his ancestors, live. But let The Villager first come clean. The Villager has always wanted to know what makes Sam NUJOMA tick.
Growing up in King Kauluma’s care was not an easy thing. To start with, King Kauluma would always refer to himself as Omukwaniilwa. For example, he would say ‘Omukwaniilwa oku we te oshigwana oshigundjuka sha hedhithwa kokule naye unene. Onkene okwa hala shi hedhe popepi naye. Ashike oku shi kutja ngele Nangombe okwa yi moompadhi dha Amakali ota shi ka hedha popepi (The King feels that the young generation has been pushed far from him. And his intention is for them to come closer. However, he is certain that if Nangombe steps in the late Amakali’s shoe, it will get closer again).
Since it was a diplomatic instruction, The Villager obeyed. It was not his place to ask how and when it was going to manifest itself. Neither is it The Villager’s place to judge if it has manifested itself thus far.
Fellow Villagers, The Villager, throughout his long life, has come to appreciate the fact that indeed Aakwaniilwa (Kings and Queens) are representatives of God on mother earth.
Just as it is manifested in those well-marketed holy books; the Bible and Quran. You know that famous line during the rhyming (prayer) Villagers always stretch when they elevate Jesus of Nazareth as the King of kings.
By now, you should know that you have to be born into royalty to be one. Other than that, you will die trying. If you live long enough, God forbid, you shall witness the late Muamar of Libya attesting to the same on the day of reckoning. That’s in the distant future, which even in the information age, Villagers have failed to uncover.
According to the information at The Villager’s disposal, you have to die and join the long queue of the dead waiting to be pardoned during the Easter weekend. May His soul rest in eternal peace.
How do you then tell if Omukwaniilwa holds someone dear? He would say, “Aamati naakadhona yooNUJOMA ota yeende taa huluko (The sun sets on the reliable generation of the NUJOMAs).
There was a Villager who once remarked that, “Omuhe oha guumbwa elayi, ye omunandunge tuuvuko” (Be a good listener). Look, Omukwaniilwa is not in the habit of talking for the sake of talking. Thus, The Villager has always been on a mission to understand what makes Sam NUJOMA tick, hence The Villager jumped for the opportunity to photograph him during the interview by this magazine. Indeed, it was an honour just to be there. Omukwaniilwa is the reason The Villager was on the silent mission to know more about Sam NUJOMA; so much so that he had to read Where Others Wavered enough times to know that The Villager in question has kept his secret away from his autobiography.
Where Others Wavered is more of a ‘catch me if you can’ type of book. Indeed, very philosophical. They say the truth is like a rubber, you can never bury it. If you dared, it has a way of coming up.
The secret is out. According to The Villager in question, the greatest gift his father ever gave him was to take him kOmbala ya Shaanika Gwa NaShilongo kOngandjela That’s where he grew up eli ashike omumati go kehale; a famaliar territory to The Villager.
If you can survive Ombala, you can survive anything in life. The Villager was fortunate to have sat in one of King Kauluma’s council meetings where law students from Finland were researching on customary laws. The enthusiastic students asked all sorts of questions and the aging councillors were up to the task of answering them.
Out of curiosity, one of the students failed to understand how possible it was for these aging councillors, with no formal education, to lecture them in the end.
His question was simple and brutally to the point: “How come?” The forever, calculative late Elenga Shilongo shUukule calmed down Kashona Ka Malulu who was almost offended by the question.
“Tse otwa li ha tu yi kUuwa tu kiilonge uulumentu nonkalo ye siku kehe omanga epipi lyonena oha li yi ko Unam ya mone uunongo wo pondje, ihe wonkalo yesiku kehe opo ngaa ha ye ya mpo mwakuutumba mpo” (Our generation used to go to the King’s Palace to be trained on how to be responsible and patriotic whereas today’s generation goes to Unam for the same purpose. However, for everyday life’s wisdom, they come exactly to occupy the seat you are occupying now).
Huge salute to all the ancestors. One cannot get wisdom through reading huge piles of western-authored literature. Education is not only academic. One has to live life to appreciate it. One builds his character through suffering, never through literature or lectures. Professor Smith will only teach you what he read in books while kings and queens will teach you from practice.
Each generation has a responsibility towards their generation to provide leadership. Every generation should understand that it’s from their leadership where patriotic future leaders, armed with business and political acumen are supposed to emerge from. They should know that it would be a total failure if their leadership failed to produce a president from among them. It would be shameful if their leadership did not produce millionaires and hard-to-come-by native billionaires. And yes, some should end up in Parliament and possibly in the executive arm as servants as opposed for a living.
They are fortunate that they do not have to do it the hard way. The road is paved to do it the smart way. However, it would be stupid to forget that those pavements are cemented with blood. The point the Villagers of today are missing, is the fact that their failure will be felt by themselves five years down the line, as there will be no legacy to talk about. They do not have to look far.
There was a painful period in the Village when NANSO was almost counted among the ‘endangered species’ (that’s if it has recovered). The reason boils down to lack of leadership then. Those Villagers focused more on self-glory at the expense of the institution and today’s learners and students are paying the price. Nobody has passed on the button. They picked it from the ground after it had been subjected to all weather vagaries that have befallen The Land of the Brave.
Equally, due to the excitement and euphoria of independence, the administrative machinery of the Party was neglected, thanks to GRN. Today’s generation is paying the price and the youth of the Namibian revolution don’t know who to pass the button to. They don’t know the Villagers who are currently dominating the Party structures. It’s their self-creation. Thus, The Villager trusts that their creativity shall come to their rescue. If not, they definitely have every reason to be worried about their legacy. Just like The Villager’s generation of leadership watches in disbelief as its legacy is being compromised.
The mirror is that: Today’s leadership spends little time on issues. When a leader is issue-driven, personal failure or success is of no consequence. Leaders put organisations first; members second and fellow leaders third.
Today’s leaders enjoy being at the top of the ladder. Little do they know that the ladder can easily fall if cut from the ground, no matter how tall the ladder is. PF