Main Page - Latest News

Namibian: The Way Things Are…


The following was published in the largest daily paper in Namibia last April.

From The Namibian…

ALTHOUGH hard to swallow, us black people despise everything that looks like us. To prove my point, not so long ago fellow blacks who had run away from atrocities in their own African countries were beaten, burned and some even killed by fellow blacks in South Africa.

In Namibia, black supporters of the ruling party Swapo and the opposition parties clashed in 2009 and we still hear of such quarrels or violence just in the name of politics. Through studying history, I have come to learn that we actually disliked one another before colonialism, hence fierce tribal fights during those years. Colonialism united us all in the fight against a common enemy and after colonialism, we saw the rebirth of things we thought were buried a long time ago, like tribalism, regionalism, favouritism, etc.

Although we do not like others from other tribes, we all love things that we do not produce. We love fine branded clothes from Europe, we love American and German-made cars, we love expensive wines and whiskeys, yet no African person brews any of them. All we own, unfortunately, are thousands of shebeens where we drink ourselves to death, stab each other with knives/bottles, infect each other with the HIV virus, make lots of unwanted babies and then blame others for our miseries. We love all sorts of expensive foreign made items and show them off yet we look down at our indigenous products that we fail to commercialise.

As blacks, we know very little about investments, whether in stocks, or in properties. All we know is how to invest our money in things that depreciate or evaporate the fastest like clothes, cars, alcohol and when we are at it, we want the whole world to see us. I know some brothers driving BMWs, yet they sleep on the floors and don’t have beds because nobody will see them anyway. This is what we love doing and this is the black life, a life of showing off for those who have. A black millionaire tenderpreneur living in Ludwigsdorf or Klein Kuppe in Windhoek will drive to the notorious Eveline Street in Katutura where he will show off his expensive car and look down on others. We sell our natural resources to Europe for processing, and then buy them back in finished products. What makes us so inferior in our thinking that we only pride ourselves when we have something made by others? What compels us to show off things that we don’t manufacture? Is it the poverty that we allow ourselves to be in? Is it our navigated consciousness, our culture, or just a low self esteem possessing us? For how long are we going to be consumers or users of things we do not produce? Do we like the easy way out, such that we only use and consume things made by others?