Namibian Voters Acting Like Typical Black Sheep

In the land of Namibia, there’s always something to complain about, especially when it comes to feeling left out of important decisions.

Yet, when given the chance to make their voices heard, Namibians often find more entertaining distractions.

I once lived with this grand family in Namibia.

This family was unique, not because of their diverse range of unusual characters but because they had a tradition of complaining about everything under the scorching Kalahari Desert sun.

From the lack of rain to the pesky mosquitoes that seemed to be conniving with the government, there was always something to whine about.

The most vocal member of this family was a character we’ll call Little Joe.

Little Joe had a knack for getting upset about how the rich uncles and aunties would always make decisions without consulting him. He felt excluded, marginalised and as useful as a solar panel in a thunderstorm.

Every time there was a big decision to be made, be it the contributions towards family weddings or funerals or something else entirely, Little Joe was nowhere to be found.

He’d say “it’s not fair! I never get to have a say in anything!”

But when decisions were made, Joe was the first to find a corner to hide in, like a lizard avoiding the midday sun.
One day, the family had a revelation.

“Let’s include Little Joe in our important meetings,” they said.

After all, they thought, Joe was now grown up and even had a job, even though it was a questionable one involving dubious pyramid schemes.
So, they decided to invite him to the next big family meeting to decide on who gets to decide for the family.

The day of the big meeting arrived and the uncles and aunties gathered in their farming attire. The placed smelled of freshly brewed tea mixed with the warm and rich scent of homemade fat cakes.

The stage was set for serious deliberation.

But where was Little Joe?

Ah yes, Little Joe was on the veranda, having had a bit too much of a ‘sundowner’ the night before.

He was sprawled out, snoring louder than a vuvuzela at a Chula Chula match.

This was his grand opportunity to make his voice heard, to finally be part of the decision-making process, and he was as absent as WiFi in a rural village.

The uncles and aunties shook their heads in their collective disappointment.

“You see,” said uncle Tjipanga, “this is exactly why we never consult these kids. They just don’t care.”

Now, let’s talk about the Namibian voter registration effort.

Much like Little Joe, the citizens have long complained about not having a say in the governance of their beautiful country.

“The government never listens to us,” they lament.

“We’re just pawns in this game.”

The problem is that when the time came to register to vote, when it was their turn to step up and have their say, they were at a lounge pretending to be all sorted.

There were endless excuses like the queue being too long or how hot it was that day.

Some would simply sigh “I’ll do it tomorrow”, and “I don’t have the right outfit for this crap”.

This reminds me of how they thought the registration of sim cards was a joke.

Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with more exciting ventures like the latest amapiano dance challenge, celebrity gossip or the hilarious meme about women running for president.

Anything but registering to vote.

At the registration centres, officials sat with the patience of saints, twiddling their thumbs and sipping water to stay awake. On the other hand, they were happy for the free money.

It was a national effort, but it felt more like a neighbourhood picnic with very few attendees.

The numbers looked grim. The turnout was slower than a tortoise marathon.

Back in the family, the uncles and aunties concluded their meeting.

Decisions were made, roles were assigned, and life went on.

Little Joe eventually woke up, with a splitting headache from the babalas, completely oblivious to the opportunity he had squandered.

“What did I miss?” he mumbled, only to be met with maddened sighs.

“Just the future of the family. That’s all you missed,” auntie Nandi said dryly.

So, now I ask you dear Namibians, are you going to be like Little Joe?

Are you going to miss your chance to have a say in your country’s future because you’re too busy doing everything else but the one thing that matters?

The uncles and aunties of our nation are ready to make the decisions for you, and if you don’t step up, they surely will.

They will decide what and when you eat.

They will decide who you can or cannot have sex with.

Oh dear, they will even decide on how much more foreign music should play on radios or which traditional brew is safe or not.

Remember, the next time you complain about how things are run, you had your chance and you effed it up.

Get over yourself, go register to vote.

Show that you care, because in the grand family meeting that is Namibia, every voice matters, even yours.

OK, let me explain. If you don’t vote, your vote certainly does not exist and when you do vote, there is that slim chance that it will matter.

No promises, though.

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