Contrary to my decision to take some time from proffering my opinion publicly, while I do some introspection on where we find ourselves as a nation, I am compelled to pen this down.
I move, in the name of our people, to declare that Namibia is forever free, sovereign and independent. For the Namibian people, this day, March 21, 1990, is the most memorable and indeed the most emotional moment in the annals of our history. This solemn hour was the moment, which our people had been waiting for, for more than a century. This is the day for which tens of thousands of Namibian patriots laid down their lives, shed their precious blood, suffered imprisonment and difficult life [both home and] in exile. (Founding President Sam S. Nujoma, 1990)
Independence Day belongs to the people of Namibia. It is a day on which genuine sons and daughters of our diverse country vowed to define for themselves and eventually the generation from whom they borrowed this country (Obama) who they are and how they should be known henceforth.
This day is the culmination of all the strife and battles that our people waged against foreign occupation and attempts at subjugating their will, battles fought on different terrains in different parts of our country stretching for centuries, and leaving almost no blade of grass or singular soul unaffected, and logically concluded at Quito Canavale.
Celebrating this day ‘…is [a] fitting tribute to the heroism and tenacity with which our people fought for this long-awaited day’. (S. Nujoma)
Despite our knowledge of the shortcomings of our movement, heir to a fantastic revolutionary heritage and our personal failings of the moment, which has driven a thick wedge between where we stand and our people’s legitimate aspirations, we acknowledge that freedom is the only means allowing us to err and at the same time correct same through dialogue. This freedom, we were granted by the independence we marked on March 21, 1990 is no trivial event.
21 March represents the official severing of the one-sided relationship to the rule of coloniser as the majority of the current generation experienced and still remember. It equally represents the core of our being, the ‘very makeup of our identity as citizens’ of the Republic of Namibia.
The significance and importance of this day surpasses all other days. Despite the shortcomings and the lack of progress in some areas, this day means the conscious acknowledgement of our existence as equals amongst the nations of the world. Despite our anger and anxiety this is the day we hold as a collective ‘regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status’, (Preamble Constitution). On this day and as a collective, we should not only highlight our mistakes hoping to demonise the other, but to find collective solutions to that which has the potential to derail our collective march towards our noble collective aspirations. Even if pap/mahangu and vleis is the only meal around the fire, we dare not miss the family gathering to reflect on the journey hitherto. Despite the flaws within our governance system, despite our fallibility as humans, we dare not fail to acknowledge that we have reason/s to remember our day, as it is our day.
We would shame the graves of those who believed that this day was worth their bloody sacrifice if the chorus to boycott finds listeners and dancers. It would be a shame to those whose heroic deeds we continue to cite, those driven by the realisation that only ‘unity and a common loyalty to a single state’ is the raison d’etre of our existence as Namibians. Without this day, our existence as Namibians has no basis.
Resilient nations across the world have taught us that despite the difficulty of the moment, anxiety of the hour, humans ‘group together’ to avert cataclysmic danger the temptation to disperse would present.
This is not Hage Geingob’s day nor Swapo’s day, but the day we stand still and tall as we look back, so that we may look forward. We do so while inaugurating the person, who deserves our support as all Namibians, who has taken up the mantle to lead us and be our voice for the next five years.
If Namibia is all we have, we dare not ignore Namibia on the day she became Namibia.
*Joshua Razikua Kaumbi is a holder of a BA Political Science and Sociology (Unam), LLB (Stellenbosch) and an admitted legal practitioner. Opinions herein are in his private capacity as a Namibian by birth, and not
2020-02-28 07:44:34 | 5 months ago