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Opinion - Namibia: Now is the time to redefine, reclaim and regain

2022-10-07  Reverend Jan Scholtz

Opinion - Namibia: Now is the time to redefine, reclaim and regain

Reverend Jan Scholtz

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday. I took a walk down memory lane at a concert celebrating the music of the Swedish supergroup of the 1970 – 80s. I came away dripping with nostalgia and a maudlin longing for those days when I was half as old as now.

The cohesive ethos for the 2 000-seater audiences was our nostalgia for those days that were. We were unified in our misty-eyed memories, aware that the clocks were ticking. We sang with one voice: thank you for the music.

Why suffer amid plenty – is a million-dollar question?

We have moved on since those heady years going back more than four decades. Why anoint the past with incense that has lost its bouquet?

We came away from a few hours of mutual bonding based on memories. We woke out of our haze to the reality of our country that have vast mineral resources – gold, coal and diamonds etc. We have the potential to become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world – game reserves, golden beaches and water sports, perfect sport flying conditions, spectacular hiking trails, and a climate other country would die for. We have the agricultural potential to produce enough food for several countries.

Why are a third of our potential workers unemployed?

We can’t continue to use the worn excuse: “It’s the legacy of apartheid”. The past has gone. The future is still to come. But we have the gift of today. That is why it is called the present. It is time to wake up and find more areas of cohesion such as we felt during the ABBA concert, or at the first free elections.

It is the same unity we feel during success in sport at national level.

We share the feeling that the country can still be saved with so many young people who have demonstrated fortitude and promise during the last year’s matric exams. Namibians had a reputation for being hard workers.

Thornton Wilder in The Ides of March: “The thoughts and actions of those who awaken to the fact that they have been duped are painful to themselves and dangerous to others.” We must attend some soul-cleansing gathering where category-thinking is left at the door. We can’t go on with categories of race, gender, wealth, inherited or appreciated, political advantage and all the other aberrations that have become our daily fare.

Internecine fighting, palace revolts, factionalism, are not signs of goof robust engagement. They are signs of fissure, fracture, failure, the most basic approach to any hopeless situations is contained in a simple word: help.

What happened?

Somewhere along the line, we lost our pride. We forgot the pleasure of good work well done and replaced it with the greed of marching and striking for more pay. We replace “we are proud” with “we demand”.

If we would only stop the bus rethink and redefine – we need to answer the question: Why the available expertise is not sitting in the debating chambers? Many countries have done this and recovered. The will was always there. We do have all the potential for greatness we always had. Maybe we can regain it, if we get back our national pride.

As Catherine Booth says, “if we are to better the future we should disrupt the present.” To meaningfully disrupt the present, we are going to have to confront issues that have, hitherto now made it difficult for us to exploit our potential, we have acres upon acres of land, we have multiplicity of institutions and facilities, and we have a rich history. How can we be so rich and yet so poor? One inescapable conclusion is that the problem lies with us-nobody is going to come from anywhere to help get us on the right trajectory. The answer to our reaching a point that we should be prepared to disrupt the present lies in our hands.

2022-10-07  Reverend Jan Scholtz

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