I write this with a heavy heart. Maybe not such a heavy heart because I feel I gave this institution ample time to right their wrong. This relates to the wanton and unremorseful theft from black Namibians, or natives as they were sometimes referred to. The root of it seems to be considering black people invisible and of no consequence, if not a mild nuisance in shared spaces.
Due to the tough living conditions most of us professionals find ourselves in, we find ourselves living in small apartments spread out around the city. In some instances, however, we end up sharing spaces with people from all walks of life, races and backgrounds. I recently came to the harsh realisation that I am invisible when my very white establishment of a neighbour resorted to stealing my papers, for which a subscription was paid and were marked as being delivered to me.
How did I know that it was them? It is a radio station that requires some of its jockeys to be in studio as early as 05h00, and the papers were gone as early as 06h00 when I attempted to retrieve them. The continued theft of my papers peeved me, and gave me a rude awakening.
White settlers came to Africa, saw land that did not have a name on it, locals who were seen as ‘savages’ were barely recognised as humans, which led to this beautiful continent being looted of all its resources. Now, you can argue today that the current looters are our own. I get that, and it is a story for another day. Today, I wish to address the fact that this very white radio station saw it fit to take my papers because they were just lying in a corner, where I instructed the delivery guy to leave them.
“But they don’t have a name on them”, she said shocked at the fact that I was hiding behind the wall at 05h00 with camera phone in hand, ready for her stealing antics.
I approached the radio station office (known for its traffic updates), and demanded that they refund the stolen papers and send out a directive to all employees to not touch or take my papers. Guess what I was told by the person in charge… “well, if the papers do not have your name on them, anyone can take them.” I was perplexed and reminded that I am fighting a losing battle with people who have an entitlement handicap.
This is not land, mind you, it is newspapers for which subscription is paid every month. Imagine. I have to resort to guerilla warfare to just stake out a newspaper thief, an unremorseful one at that. My outrage is not based on race, but the expectation for basic human decency to not be invisible to those I share this country with, for my property to be respected, whether it has a name on it or not. Kosmos radio, I’m talking about you!