We are not there yet!

 

 

We are not there yet! 

 
The issues surrounding racism, tribalism and “regionalism”, which recently dominated our space on both print and electronic media, caught my attention. Very emotional subjects!

 

I’m sure I speak for many when I say I was caught by surprise, wondering whether or not this is indeed happening in a post-independent Namibia!

 

The folly of human nature, at times, conditionS us  into trying to prescribe what should or shouldn’t happen to us, when and how. Unfortunately, it does not work like that.

 

The latest incident in Gobabis catapulted the racial debate, with some calling for radical actions against suspected racists, including issuing them one-way tickets to Europe or wherever they might have come from.

 

Let’s face it; issues around racism and/or tribalism are very complex and multilayered. It is through them that Europe divided and concurred Africa for decades on end, in pursuit of markets for their finished good and a source of raw materials, to sustain their industries.

 

The trend of looting our resources has, sadly, continued to date. Have you ever heard how they scream whenever we ask them to consider value addition to our raw materials? Their responses are often accompanied by a truck load of excuses for they know without Africa, they are nothing.

 

They have the cheek to sell their products to us in finished forms and yet look how we rush to the shops to buy their latest clothing ranges or even gadgets in the name of ‘technology development’!

 

They even use new, fancy words to blindfold us into gullibility!

 

In the mean time, they travel the world, visiting all the exotic islands under the sun while we tirelessly prop their luxurious lifestyles through their bank accounts day in, day out.

 

We are both their producers and clients. Talk about being used as both beef and milk – reminding me of Germany’s punitive treatment at the Versailles Treaty after the First World War!

 

Africa has been through a lot, Namibia is no exception. But where do the struggles leave us? The power is, of course, in our hands.

 

Since independence, Namibia has done remarkably well from all fronts. I mean, our Constitution is one of the best in the world and as pointed out by Professor Diescho, it out-smarts South Africa’s.

 

Sometimes when bad things happen to us, we should use that opening to look for opportunities wherever they may be and then forge the way forward.

 

As they say, “When you fall, do not look at where you have fallen but at where you slipped.”

 

The question is, where did we slip as a people and a nation? Slipping here is in terms of racism, tribalism and all other negative -isms. I have no doubt the chapter was closed too soon or we assumed the matter was laid to rest. Unfortunately that is not the case.  Addressing these issues should not be a once-off affair. Rather, it should form part and parcel of the national agenda.

 

Even those without titles or positions of authority or power should take such debates from the public space by thrashing out all the misconceptions and assumptions still harboured at the back of our minds. A culture of open dialogue about politics and the negative -isms should be encouraged at every level.

 

It is through confronting issues and not each other that we can emerge as a powerful nation.

 

At the time of writing this piece, about 12 countries are at war! Part of the problem is, the -isms I have mentioned, they are the fodder feeding the cannons of the imperialists, thus giving them the mileage they desperately need.

 

Ever wondered why in any conflict situations, rebels often drive the top-of-the-range cars, all carrying pretty powerful rounds of ammunition. Who funds them?

 

Lest we be fooled - being a young nation - let’s revitalise and embrace the same will power that propelled us to dislodged apartheid and continue to build this country. Let’s keep focused on the bigger picture and prove to all and sundry that it is possible to build a successful post independence democracy against all odds.

 

We haven’t scratched the top yet. So let’s embrace each other and engage in fighting the good fight of nation building. Remember, it should not be a once-off process.

 

Till next time, happy reading! PF