I personally believe everyone who does great and impactful work should get credit for it, because they truly deserve it. It takes a lot to do something that will have an impact on others’ lives or thinking. To me, that’s the noblest work there is.
More often than not, that rarely happens, especially when that person is still alive or at their peak. We have seen it time and again how some of the people we celebrate today were overlooked when they were here, despite doing the work we now celebrate today. It’s sad, cruel and unfair.
What is worse is when we celebrate those who had a minimal hand in the outcome, and leave out those who risked everything to get the work done. In many cases, great work and achievements are a team effort; it’s rarely a solo show.
As a country, we have a relatively young and short history as a united nation. For those of us here today, we don’t know who our heroes and heroines of yesteryear were, and I am not just referring to those who fought in the liberation struggle. There are others who had the same aim but used different methods like recording our history through books, or our sports stars who defied the odds in a divided nation, or teachers who went out of their way to deliver extraordinary education to those in need.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but today their names are hardly known or celebrated. Sometimes, all the youth need to know is that no matter how difficult or impossible it seems, it can be done. The reference could be someone from Namibia, whose story – even though they can’t necessarily relate to – they can comprehend and understand. That is one way of doing justice to the work and stories of our yesteryear heroes and heroines.
Sometimes, all one needs is belief that whatever they are thinking or attempting can be done; that they are not crazy, and don’t have to hear or read the recycled stories of a European or American leader who did something extraordinary when we have the same brave and fearless people who walked on the land we walk today. Recognising Namibian pride.
So, if we give the credit where it’s due and recognise the work being done by the local folk, their work and achievements will have more impact on those to come, and our history will be just a bit brighter.