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Cry my beloved Land of the Brave ..where did we go wrong?

2021-05-14  Carlos Kambaekwa

Cry my beloved Land of the Brave ..where did we go wrong?
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Destiny is by choice, just as a farmer decides to plant to realise his objective of whatever he may wish to harvest at a later stage. This is one of the most crucial messages we need to drum into the thick skulls of those who have been entrusted to guard and protect our treasured national assets and resources.

Without beating about the bush, the serial sorry condition of state-owned recreational facilities countrywide is not only a worrisome eyesore, it’s becoming a national embarrassment to those in leadership positions, including the men in blue suits in the August House.

 Just as the entire nation is reeling from the shock news that the half-baked Sam Nujoma Stadium has been declared, and rightly so, unfit to host international football matches, another shocking devastating revelation sprung to the fore. 

As it stands, the modern Katutura Youth Complex, fitted with a turf football field, tennis courts, netball courts, grandstand, cloak rooms, athletics track has now deteriorated beyond repair, and literally has taken permanent residency in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), so to speak. 

When Namibia gained her long-awaited democracy in 1990, it inherited a decent number of up-to-international-standard infrastructure, well-maintained sporting facilities, including roads etc. 

Now, the fundamental question that needs to be raised is: if the portfolio ministry of roads could flawlessly maintain and build new roads, where did we go wrong with the maintenance of already existing sporting facilities, let alone those constructed after independence?

Coming back to the Katutura Youth Complex, the facility is in a total mess and resembles a jungle with long thick grass, almost dwarfing the goalposts mounted on the field. What puzzles the mind is that there are fulltime caretakers, stationed 24-hours at the field on the payroll of the ministry, enjoying free accommodation. 

To worsen matters, the field has now been turned into shelter for around 30 homeless tenants, squatting in tents for more than a year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

And whilst authorities should be applauded for coming to the plight of these victims of society, their chosen resettlement at the Katutura Youth Complex, be it temporary or permanently, could yield far-reaching repercussions. 

What’s the use, or rather rationale, of trying to rescue a group of 25 people from poverty at the expense of future generations? The initial idea was to build the sports complex for the youth, in an effort to keep them away from the evils of society and off the streets.

Hosting the homeless at sports facilities is very uncool, certainly not a wise decision, and the sooner authorities relocate these victims of society, the better, if we are to preserve the future of our young athletes. 

In contrast, the adjacent basketball courts under the watch of the Basketball Artists School (BAS), proudly manned by enthusiastic young volunteers, is well maintained, rendering the youth complex to look like minor league players. Is it perhaps not time now for some ministries to get out of their slumber and move with the times by outsourcing large portions of public entities to safeguard their ultimate survival? I rest my case. 

2021-05-14  Carlos Kambaekwa

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