Although I’m not currently in Namibia, I thought I would pen a letter to the Land of the Brave as a brave attempt to lay on the table some of the ills that haunt my place of birth.
I have always been hopeful and remain even more so about our scarcely populated country on the south-western coast of the great African continent.
What ills, you might ask.
For a place of such beauty, I have seen and heard some ugly truths that have remained unaddressed for too long.
The economic and material disparities in Namibia are testament to a nation that seems to pride itself on how it looks but does not reflect the realities that inform the daily lives of too many Namibians.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Pretence and superficial outlooks have seen us lose sight of what really matters. The current gender debate, for example, evades the reality of the one question that really matters.
Is empathy and compassion not the Christian thing, better yet the human thing to when it comes to the rights and freedoms of all members of the community?
As for what is supposedly unAfrican, who is to say?
Is using an iPhone African? What about driving cars and working in air-conditioned Western buildings?
Our political elites appear largely divorced from on-the-ground Namibian realities. Is it reasonable to place our trust in them?
What makes a fair and wholesome nation? Shouldn’t all of us have a fair chance when it comes to accessing national resources?
Do we want our youth on the streets causing havoc or would we prefer them to expend their energy at well-resourced sports and artistic facilities to help aid their spiritual, mental and physical development?
What does it cost a small nation of huge wealth and diversity to truly understand that if we look and feel good together, we are bound to treat each other even better?
WHO ARE WE?
In my humble opinion, the problems that continue to beset our society, i.e. extreme poverty and its offshoots, gender-based violence, excessive corruption, and misunderstandings between various communities, among others, stem from unhealed traumas of the past, and a deep dissatisfaction with the state of our nation.
Most do not know how and why they are Namibians when they cannot access the riches and resources of their land.
How are most people to understand this new green energy deal Namibia is about to embark on when they don’t see how it benefits them?
The Fishrot scandal painted a horrible picture of a nation in disarray.
Should we rather not be brave enough to face ourselves and to look within at what really bothers us, because it is not our neighbour’s sexual preferences or where our moral loyalties lie that is the issue.
As the saying goes, knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.
We need to brave the storm of change that is coming because change is the only constant.
If it all feels chaotic and senseless, remember that hope is like the sun and will rise again; and faith is a flower and it needs your love and care.
- Ele Motho Gaalelekwe R Mosimane is an award-winning Namibian musician who has also made his mark internationally.