Which brings me to the subject of selective memory and scapegoating and entitlement, all negative traits which Namibians seem to possess in large measure. We are not quite as good at taking responsibility, facing up to the music and admitting that we messed up, but we delight in the ‘blame game’. If this mindset changed, we’d probably also make a good deal more progress as a nation. We’re in denial about our own deficiencies.
BUT to get back to the president. He seemed to lay down the law on the ‘struggle kids’ at the CC meeting, but it seems he needs also to convince his former prime minister, Nahas Angula, and others, that his government needs to end the favouritism and Swapo needs to practice what it preaches before the issue gets completely out of hand.
To get back to my accusation of selective memory and scapegoating: it’s prevalent, and not only in our politics, and it is time that we stop our whining and complaining about anything and everything, all in an effort, I suspect, to cover up our own failures as a nation.
The ‘struggle kids’ need to get a life. It’s been said before, but how did this suddenly get to be a problem 23 years after independence? Where were these ‘kids’ until they got to experience problems a few years ago? Why can’t they take ownership and responsibility (as other unemployed youth must do?) and acknowledge that they’d had some (perhaps varying degrees of) education; a good couple of handouts and opportunities on resettlement farms, job reservation, probably allowances if they were orphans, and now because they can’t make it in life, they are threatening a ‘national strike’ (pardon me, but what’s the point if they’re unemployed anyway?) and generally making accusations left, right and centre about how they’ve been forgotten and neglected. I am not unsympathetic with their plight, but then I don’t see it as any different to anyone else who is unemployed in Namibia. If the government addresses the problem, (which it clearly seems unable to do) then it should be addressing it as a national problem and not just the so-called Swapo kids.
Depending on how many members there are of NEKA (Namibian Exile Kids Association), why can’t they be innovative and creative for heaven’s sake? If they must get a handout, ask for some premises, perhaps at the old Ramatex, get a bunch of sewing machines and start to try to fend for themselves. But no, they won’t do that. They’ll whinge and moan and threaten national demonstrations and strikes and sit around in heaps feeling sorry for themselves instead. Enough said on that subject.
Similarly, the question of President Pohamba’s diplomatic onslaught against the UK. Why now? If Mandume ya Ndemufayo’s skull had been an issue, why hasn’t Swapo taken it up with the British and other countries which may have been responsible on a bilateral level long before this? Why haven’t our own historians got to the root of it, rather than Pohamba calling on British scholars and researchers to find out the truth. There we go again, not doing things for ourselves and asking the colonisers to help us out. Yet we accuse the UK, and ‘demand’ the return of the skull, when we’re not absolutely sure whether Mandume committed suicide or was killed.
There are too many examples of our selective historical memory (our allies in the struggle, for one, appear to have just been the USSR, Cuba and Asian countries according to our prime minister, whereas the Nordic countries which did so much in humanitarian terms have been conveniently relegated to the dustbin of history); our scapegoating and our overall feelings of entitlement, to go into detail here.
But I for one would like us to develop a national backbone. Stand up straight and tall and admit when we falter or fail ourselves, so that our success will become so much sweeter and we can truly take ownership of our lives. This mental slavery is a debilitating thing.