In a land where irony reigns supreme and logic often takes a vacation, there exists a phenomenon that could leave even the most imaginative fiction writers dumbfounded.
The thieves walk right into a hospital and steal from the sick on their deathbeds while the security guard has to take temperature and blood pressure readings in the clinic area.
Security guards in Namibia have become the unsung heroes of many institutions, wearing superhero capes of responsibility and multitasking prowess while the so-called educated elite recline in cafeterias, discussing the weather and witchcraft at their villages.
Picture this: a security guard stepping in where nurses fear to tread, brandishing a stethoscope with the grace of a seasoned professional. The hospital ward suddenly transforms into a theatre stage, with our security-superhero measuring blood pressure and assessing vitals, all while the actual nurses seem to have embarked on a kapana-tasting expedition on the bustling street.
Is this the hero Namibia has been waiting for, a masked guardian of public health who takes on the challenge with zero training? Or is she destined to face the scepticism of a society that often confuses bravery with audacity?
One might wonder if these remarkable people will be offered bursaries and be transformed into what they are clearly meant to be. Will our nurse be handed the opportunity to study nursing, setting a precedent for others to leap into new roles? Or will she be shuffled off by her employer to safeguard shopping complexes, where her keen eye for detail might be employed to catch shoplifters?
It is not just the medical realm that bears witness to this crazy twist of fate. The National Traffic Information System (Natis) across the country and the Namibia Revenue Agency are all whispered about on social media as places where the employees exploit the desperate guards to do their work. Well, it’s just social media rants, don’t believe it. But, who knew that the first step towards compliance in Namibia would depend on the skills and mood of a security guard?
The same happens in retail spaces where you will witness security guards ascending to their unofficial roles as product experts. Their job description changes from deterring shoplifters to scaling ladders to reach for items on the highest shelves, for the vertically challenged shoppers. Safety concerns seem to take a back seat, as these gallant figures execute their gravity-defying feats. One can only hope their courage is appreciated with more than just a token pat on the back and that the culprits be reprimanded.
Satire aside, these security guards are no different than anyone else. Their ambitions have been stifled by a system that favours the privileged few, leaving them to toil in anonymity. They too have dreams and would have pursued education for a place behind the counters.
The ridiculousness of the circumstance begs the question, “Why do we, as a society, often assign the most important duties to the lowest-paid individuals?” Why is the burden of responsibility placed on those whose worth exceeds a meagre compensation? The unskilled but devoted guards keep on showing their amazing aptitude for activities that are meant to take years of school and training. Their understated competence questions the foundation of our presumptions.
Let’s keep in mind that beneath the satire lies a cry for respect, for justice, and for the realisation that every part, no matter how small, carries weight. Salute, officer!
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