Shaun Asprilla Gariseb
In the 1970s and 80s, schools like Petrus Ganeb, S.I. !Gobs, Agustineum Döbra and Dr Lemmer produced a constant supply of productive citizens – from musicians, sports athletes, to academics and technicalists of that time.
Today, the Damara/Nama people have many among them with a lazy attitude of course not all but that handful taints a bad picture of all of us.
We must encourage an “Ure” give mentality and discourage the” Outere” give-me mentality.
My eternal buddy Kadhila Amoomo, who hails from the Soweto area of mixed ethnicity, used to tell me that a Damara-speaking guy taught him how to “Tile” ceramic tiles.
As we had our “anything”-”everything” conversations, I would tell him how I learned painting and shadowed one guy.
While tiling to him was a hobby and a passion alongside litigation, he always acquitted the difference in attitude and the importance of discipline. Now amongst the best lawyers in the country, he still loves tiling. I wonder where his mentor is.
Some young people of my tribe do not want to acquire anything: skill, education or logic; they adopted what the Chinese youth have learned recently – “ lying flat” or the doing nothing idea of lying flat is widely acknowledged as a mass societal response to “neijuan” (or involution).
“Neijuan” became a term, commonly used to describe the hyper-competitive lifestyle in China, where life is likened to a zero-sum game. But the Chinese have different circumstances than we do. Just last week, the President was asking why we don’t make our coffins? Considering our over-dependency on South Africa, he was calling for introspection. We need to start making our things.
Someone on social media posted: “Twelve years of schooling with an addition of three to four years at varsity, and we can’t fix much, build a house, grow food, make clothing, farming, or create apps; we just can’t do much for or by ourselves. It is just innovation and copying from music to branding – even policy direction, we just copy; not much is thought out”.
Recently, I saw a disturbing Tik Tok video of two young delinquents in Malaka Draai being recorded, stabbing each other; that is not what we are in Katutura Central. We have brilliant carpenters like Elvis Pieterson, clairvoyant entrepreneurs like Haimbodi and talents like Dynamo Frederick, but Namibians are so lazy; they just want to consume such material.
If it is not controversial or entertaining, they do not share it or deliberate on it. That is why dependency syndrome has been a thing of our country for so long. Instead of deliberating on the possibility of the shortage of essentials should unrest continue, we engage in malarkey.
Our people are only attracting negativity because of despair and lethargy towards life. At this juncture, I here tender a clarion call to successful Damara/Nama people to return to our locations to inject much-needed inspiration. People like Mihe Goamab, Frank Fredericks and Hage Geingob.
Why are we, all of a sudden, ashamed of Damara roots as soon as we attain middle class? Their influence is needed for the young child in Malaka Draai to observe that upward mobility is guaranteed if one rejects the dependency syndrome – even if one delivers a speech with a click.
Laziness may often be the result of there being too much of a disconnect between what a person is asked to do and why that task is important. If self-sufficient behaviour is not encouraged, our people will enjoy generational poverty and continue being among the poorest minorities in Namibia.
We need to start doing things for ourselves again.