Lavish Birthday Wishes Vs Starvation
I HAVE just tried to analyse the birthday advertisements for the President Hifikepunye Pohamba that appeared in three, Namibian newspapers on Thursday, August 18, 2011.
If the (maximum for the) full-page advert costs N$10 000, the half-page costs N$5000 and a quarter-page costs N$2 500, this is what happened:
The state-owned daily newspaper adverts-23 full-page x 10 000= N$230 000; 17 half-page x 5000=N$85 000 and 35 quarter-page x 2500=N$87 500. That is a whopping N$402 500 to New Era.
The Afrikaans daily newspaper adverts: 1 full-page =N$10 000; 15 half-page x 5000=N$ 75 000 and 10 quarter-page x 2 500=N$ 25 000. That is a total N$110 000 for Die Republikein.
A weekly tabloid newspaper adverts: 4 full-page x 10 000=N$40 000; 5 half-page x 5000=N$ 25 000 and 3 quarter-page x 2 500=N$ 7 500. And the total is N$72 5000.
My Bantu-motivated calculation will give me a grand total of N$585 000. This is more than half a million dollars. These are just three of the many print and electronic media in which the advertisements were published. I am not blaming President Hifikepunye Pohamba for the lavish adverts because he normally does not make a birthday bash for himself with the State funds.
I also don’t blame the media for doing business through advertising. I just want to understand the ‘generosity’ of the central, regional and local governments of this country as well as question the social responsibility of the parastatals and private companies in comparison with the people of Namibian who have to make ends meet by resorting to eating from the dumpsites and rubbish bins or having their shacks demolished for lack of land.
The main question is: Where do our priorities lie when spending more on birthday wishes of the elites than on improving the lives of the poor? The public and private institutions are spending a lot of money on the President’s birthday wishes while the ordinary people are starving to death. I am terribly ashamed!
Human Rights Activist