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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 1065 | 1066 | (Page 1067) | 1068 | 1069 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 06/26/19--16:00: We googled you - Geingob
  • We googled you - GeingobWe googled you - Geingob President Hage Geingob has urged Alberto Baillères to invest further in Namibia, while the Mexican billionaire raised concerns about the country's laws and whether his investment in the Erindi Private Game Reserve would be safe, once his purchase offer has been given the green light.

    The 87-year-old Baillères paid a courtesy visit to Geingob at State House yesterday, where Geingob said he had googled the potential Erindi buyer.

    The closed-door meeting was also attended by land reform minister Utoni Nujoma, finance minister Calle Schlettwein, presidential affairs minister Martin Andjaba and attorney-general Dr Albert Kawana.

    Geingob briefed the media afterwards, but Baillères did not utter a single word.

    The Erindi transaction is currently awaiting regulatory approval by the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC). This is a standard process where sizeable acquisitions are concerned and Baillères and his team are working closely with the NaCC to clarify the questions that have been posed.

    The next step is for all the suspensive conditions that Baillères and the seller agreed upon to be satisfied, before the sale can be concluded.

    “Baillères' investment is both welcomed and safe in Namibia. Our country is a strong constitutional democracy which respects the rule of law,” said Geingob.

    He also stressed the importance of attracting responsible and committed foreign investment to Namibia, which would assist the economy to the benefit of all Namibians.

    Geingob, who described Baillères as a special investor, urged him to make use of other investment opportunities in Namibia.

    He assured Baillères that Namibia is a law-abiding society, adding that a waiver was given by government to the owners of Erindi to sell the 71 000-hectare private game reserve.

    “Erindi is owned by foreigners and we do not have a law that prohib foreigners from buying land. Property owned legally cannot be touched.”

    Geingob also stressed that the farm is not suitable for resettlement purposes.

    “Here is the Mexican buyer, not to make money, but to conserve. Welcome, but you must also invest in Namibia. We googled you and you are a true investor.”

    Geingob urged Baillères to attend the upcoming investor conference and share his intentions with regard to Erindi and also other investment opportunities he is eyeing in Namibia.

    Geingob stressed that Namibians should not chase away investors and then cry that there are no jobs. “We must create a conducive environment for them.

    Schlettwein said Namibia's peace and stability had played a part in attracting Baillères.

    According to a statement issued on behalf of Baillères by Emergo Communications, the Mexican billionaire updated Geingob on his plans for Erindi, in anticipation of the finalisation of the sale.

    According to Geingob, Erindi will eventually become a conservancy in the future.

    Baillères detailed his plans to upgrade the reserve and safeguard the flora and fauna species at Erindi, while expanding ongoing conservation efforts.

    Nujoma said there are currently between 300 and 400 employees at Erindi and the aim is to branch out even further, with the surrounding communities benefitting.

    According to Emergo Communications, Baillères expressed his happiness about visiting Namibia again and thanked the Namibian government for extending a warm welcome. He was also complimentary of the professionalism showed by the government departments he has engaged with thus far.

    Baillères is the president of Mexico-based BAL Group, which has a proven and strong reputation, having operated for more than a century. BAL Group has diversified interests and Baillères has experience with managing several wildlife protection ranches in different parts of the world.

    Baillères is a philanthropist who aims to transform Erindi into a world-class game reserve, in line with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's guidelines.

    His intention is to preserve Erindi for future generations and ensure that it continues to provide a sanctuary and safe environment for rare and valuable species such as elephants, black rhino, white rhino, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and lions, that are unique and an essential part of African culture and heritage.

    Ellanie Smit

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  • 06/26/19--16:00: Abattoirs working overtime
  • Abattoirs working overtimeAbattoirs working overtimeFully booked, amid producer scramble Emergency slaughters are being done, as farmers battle to survive the current drought. Meatco said it is investigating opening additional slaughter capacity to accommodate cattle producers in this time of crisis, as farmers desperately try to sell off their livestock while the drought drags on.

    Rina Hough, commodities assistant at the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) said Meatco is currently flooded with cattle slaughter requests.

    “They are fully booked and slaughter at maximum capacity each day. This has been the case since early this year. Their employees are working overtime (Saturdays),” Hough said.

    Hough said smaller B- and C-grade abattoirs, of which there are many, are also fully booked at the moment.

    “The abattoirs that are open slaughter as much as they can right now. There are many farmers who cannot obtain a slaughter allocation for months ahead as everything is fully booked, thus (they are) feeding their animals if they can or selling in large numbers at auctions,” Hough added.

    She said farmers who are forced to sell on auction fetch lower prices, which they have to contend with because they have to market their cattle.

    Meatco board member Dr Diana van Schalkwyk confirmed that Meatco in Windhoek is currently slaughtering at full capacity of 630 cattle per day.

    She said the throughput north of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) is only limited to one mobile slaughter unit.

    “The B-class local abattoirs slaughter around 80% of their capacity, but throughput is limited to the demand in the local market. The local market is currently saturated with meat as a lot of informal trading occurs,” Van Schalkwyk said.

    Abattoir capacities

    According to statistics provided by Ace Mutelo, chief of information systems at the Meat Board of Namibia, the two cattle abattoirs used by Meatco - the Windhoek abattoir and the Beefcor abattoir in Okahandja - have been operating at a combined capacity of 67.12% since January.

    The abattoirs in Okahandja and Brukarros have been closed since further notice.

    South of the VCF the small livestock marketing scheme experienced some problems, which paralysed the sheep industry. Only two of the four small livestock abattoirs remain operational, with the one in Mariental being run by South Africans on a contract slaughter basis.

    Van Schalkwyk said the sheep industry needs a lucrative international market to enable it to pay better prices to sheep producers.

    “These markets are available and need to be explored,” she said.

    Meatco, which runs the only export abattoir, in the past experienced mistrust from cattle producers due to undue political interference and its throughput has declined.

    Matters have, however, improved.

    Van Schalkwyk said Meatco's fortunes have not improved due to the drought, but rather because it has embarked on a turnaround strategy, which improved efficiencies and resulted in better prices paid to cattle producers.

    North of the VCF only the mobile slaughter unit remains where so far 223 cattle have been slaughtered since the beginning of this year, according to Mutelo's statistics. During 2018, a total of 438 cattle were slaughtered.

    The abattoirs at Katima Mulilo and Oshakati have both been closed due to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).



    The NCA

    Van Schalkwyk said abattoirs north of the VCF are still struggling to get off the ground due to the disease status of the area, and the fact that quarantine and maturation of carcasses and cuts need to be in place before any exporting can occur.

    “Many markets also do not want meat where the animals were vaccinated against FMD. The quarantine and maturation processes add additional costs to the operations, which are detrimental to such a company's competitiveness,” Van Schalkwyk said.

    She said refurbishments to the Katima Mulilo and Oshakati abattoirs were underway, but not complete. The construction of the Rundu abattoir is also ongoing.

    Van Schalkwyk said it would take only one abattoir to be upgraded and operated on expert level, with the appropriate maturation of meat, to improve the marketing of beef in the NCA.

    “Government should step in and assist in this regard,” Van Schalkwyk advised.

    She said farmers in the FMD-free area do better than those in the NCA because they have better access to lucrative markets.

    Van Schalkwyk said the VCF “can be gradually moved to open up areas to be part of the FMD-free area”.

    “The industry needs to drive this endeavour together with government,” she suggested.

    Van Schalkwyk said there are currently no cattle north of the VCF being illegally peddled across to the FMD-free area, adding the Directorate of Veterinary Services in the agricultural ministry “has their controls in place”.

    CATHERINE SASMAN

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  • 06/26/19--16:00: H1N1 flu strain hits Namibia
  • H1N1 flu strain hits NamibiaH1N1 flu strain hits Namibia Seven cases of the seasonal influenza strain H1N1, previously known as swine flu, were confirmed in Namibia this week, with four patients admitted to hospitals.

    “There is no swine flu outbreak in Namibia, but rather an increase in seasonal influenza A H1N1 cases,” the ministry underlined in a statement issued yesterday.

    The ministry confirmed that on Tuesday, a confirmed case of Influenza A H1N1 was reported by a private health facility in Windhoek, and that by Wednesday seven laboratory-confirmed cases had been recorded.

    The ministry clarified that influenza A H1N1, previously termed swine flu, was reclassified as a seasonal influenza virus by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the 2009 global pandemic.

    The ministry advised that a seasonal influenza vaccination “is the best protection available against flu” and the influenza A H1N1 strain is included in the seasonal flu shots available in Namibia.

    The virus has circulated over the last decade, all year round, but peaks during winter, the ministry said.

    Symptoms from this particular strain include fever, coughing, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

    Between 2009 and 2010, Namibia experienced a large-scale H1N1 outbreak where over 8 000 suspected cases were reported, out of which 102 tested positive. One death was reported.

    Most cases were reported in the Ohangwena, Omusati and //Karas regions.

    In 2018, 106 laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1 were reported in Namibia and two people died.

    Most regions were affected, apart from Oshikoto, Omusati, Ohangwena, Kavango and //Karas.

    The virus is primarily transmitted via coughing and sneezing or direct contact with contaminated surfaces. High-risk groups include children under the age of five, elderly people over the age of 65, pregnant women, individuals whose immune systems are compromised and those with chronic underlying medical conditions.

    The public are advised that because it is flu season, it is to be expected that there will be more cases.

    Anyone exhibiting symptoms or signs of the disease should have bed rest, take plenty of fluids and manage their fever and cough with over-the-counter medication.

    Seek medical attention only if the flu symptoms become severe, the ministry said.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 06/26/19--16:00: When Swapo sneezes…
  • When Swapo sneezes…When Swapo sneezes… There is a popular saying that when Swapo sneezes the whole country catches a cold. The maxim holds meaning when it comes to a number of contemporary issues affecting Namibians, and Swapo cannot dodge responsibility, as it was elected by an overwhelming majority in 2014.

    This week Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo finally came out of his cocoon, only to complain that the country's independent media is biased. Nekongo, who is usually conservative in his media statements, lashed out at journalists and editors, accusing them of conniving with “anti-Swapo formations” to distort facts about the ruling party.

    The outburst was seemingly provoked by the public outrage flowing from the new state-of-the-art N$730 million new Swapo headquarters, which is to be constructed by a Chinese firm.

    This comes amid reservations by the local construction industry that the tender was too big a financial risk for them. It can even be cynically argued that it was crafted in such a way to exclude local companies who are in desperate need of contracts so that they can retain much-needed jobs.

    Oddly, the ruling elite appear to view the outrage associated with the Swapo headquarters as some kind of attack on the party and its leaders.

    The issue here is that the ruling party is prioritising pomp and luxury at the expense of its downtrodden members, who are sitting at home without work opportunities.

    It makes absolutely no sense for the ruling party to splurge N$730 million in the face of rampant poverty and joblessness.

    In fact, the headquarters may very well become a symbol of how the party is losing touch with its poverty-stricken support base.

    We would also like to remind Nekongo that “imperialist” is often the final fig leaf for those who want to defend the indefensible.

    We can no longer have so-called leaders buckling under the weight of their own big heads, and operating institutions with a non-existent value system.

    Build your headquarters, but don't attack the media for doing its job.

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  • 06/26/19--16:00: State capture loot
  • State capture lootState capture lootSA commission hones in how SME Bank cash was 'delivered' by AMFS A former cash-in-transit operator has shed more light on how the millions looted from the SME Bank was moved to the beneficiaries of the swindle. Kalandra Viljoen, former owner of Asset Movement Financial Services (AMFS) CC, a company that received a whopping N$78.9 million spirited out of the SME Bank, has appeared before the state capture inquiry in South Africa.

    In Namibia the liquidators of the SME Bank, David Bruni and Ian McLaren, have established that Viljoen's AMFS “delivered” N$64 million in hard cash to Johannesburg-based businessman George Markides, who in turn delivered the cash to various recipients.

    The former model appeared before the South African state capture commission chaired by Judge Raymond Zondo on 24 June over N$9 million she had delivered to Markides in 2015.

    The Zondo commission has established that the N$9 million had come from a company called Koreneka Trading and Investments and not from one of Markides' businesses, as Viljoen said she had thought.

    Koreneka is alleged to have been set up to loot state-owned airline South African Express and the provisional North West government in South Africa.

    During the Zondo inquiry, Viljoen described her company as a cash-in-transit business, or a “money remitter”, as defined in South Africa's Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA).



    SME Bank link

    In Namibia the liquidators of the SME Bank have also established that two companies, Crown Finance Corporation and Heritage Investments, owned by Enock Kamushinda, a former non-executive director of the SME Bank, received through direct electronic transfers N$2.8 million and N$2.27 million each from AMFS.

    Another cash-in-transit outfit, Rustic Stone 10 CC, a company Viljoen worked for about two years before she started AMFS, also received N$492 285 for “professional services” as an “investment” to Mamepe Capital Asset Managers, a company that received N$30 million of the SME Bank's stolen money.

    It was initially claimed that Mamepe Nominees (an entity that does not exist in law) had received N$150 million from the SME Bank, which it then purportedly invested with the notorious VBS Mutual Bank in South Africa.



    The Zondo probe

    In the Zondo inquiry Viljoen lifted the veil of how on her cash-in-transit company had operated.

    When asked to give a description of the AMFS operations, she responded: “If a business would need money we would deliver the funds for them.”





    Viljoen had operated AMFS for two years and ten months before it was liquidated in March 2018. During that time, she reported brisk business, saying N$500 million per month was moving through the business a year into its existence.

    Viljoen said her clients would ordinarily request funds electronically because she was “giving them their own money back in cash”.

    The client would pay in the ordered amount into AMFS' bank account. As soon as the money was paid over to AMFS, it would in turn pay it into the bank account of a company called SBV Service (Pty) Ltd.

    SBV Services would then withdraw the money - often millions at a time - pack it into clear bags, and AMFS would deliver the bags to its clients.

    “[By] the end of 2017 I would get up to a hundred phone calls a day; my phone never stopped. Business was good. It was busy,” Viljoen testified.

    She said she would get a 3% commission per transaction. She said what gave AMFS a competitive edge over other cash-in-transit companies was that it used unmarked cars to deliver the cash, was cheaper and offered same-day delivery.

    Viljoen said all the inquiries by the SME Bank liquidators related to transactions carried out by Markides, who was the sole proprietor trading under two of his businesses, Dedrego and ITH.

    She said she was under the impression that Markides' business was a trading house buying goods in South Africa and exporting them to the rest of Africa.

    Asked if she ever made enquiries about the source of the millions Markides had asked her to deliver in cash, Viljoen said: “I thought the funds came from them, Markides and his entities.”

    Viljoen said since the client's money was paid into her bank account, she took it that the particular banks had the responsibility to find out where the funds came from.

    “Well, that is clearly what has been happening with Mr Markides' cases. If I just look at the SME [Bank] case, so I can make that assumption that the funds actually never went for his business and it went on to someone else,” Viljoen said, adding that Markides then made the funds available to a third party.



    CATHERINE SASMAN

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    Grootfontein to auction tipper trucks to pay leave bonusesGrootfontein to auction tipper trucks to pay leave bonuses The Grootfontein municipality is set to use the proceeds from the sale of three tipper trucks to pay the N$475 625.15 it owes to 23 employees, as per a Labour Court order that the ministry of urban and rural development unsuccessfully tried to stop.

    Last week Judge Hosea Angula dismissed an application brought by minister Peya Mushelenga in April, in which he asked the court to stop the sale of the trucks and to declare the settlement agreement reached during an unfair labour dispute between the 23 employees and Grootfontein municipality null and void.

    Mushelenga argued the agreement, which included payments due from contractual five-year bonus benefits, was unlawful and had not been approved by his ministry, as it had effectively been abolished by government in 2010 due to the high costs involved.

    The employees, however, argued that the High Court does not have jurisdiction to overturn a Labour Court order, and that Mushelenga had no standing in the dispute between the council and the employees.

    They also argued that the settlement agreement included monies owed for unpaid overtime.

    Angula ruled last Tuesday that the High Court does not have the jurisdiction to set aside an order of the Labour Court and dismissed the matter with costs.

    He also uplifted the suspension he put in place when the urgent application was first brought, making way for the writ of execution for the sale of immovable properties to proceed.

    The judge noted that the matter could only be resolved through the Labour Court.

    His judgment highlighted that the bonus benefit “ought to have been phased out over a period”.

    “However, it turned out the council did not take steps to phase out the bonus benefit” until late 2017, which led to the unfair labour dispute.



    Costly

    Mushelenga's application highlighted that prior to 2010 local authorities frequently included costly five-year leave bonus benefits, which were effectively abolished in 2010 due to their heavy financial impact.

    Nevertheless, the Grootfontein municipality did not phase out the bonuses until 2017, which the 23 employees used to approach the Labour Court and win.





    The dispute resulted in a settlement and was made an order of the Labour Court in February, including the issuing of the writ of execution, after the municipality failed to comply with the terms of the agreement.

    In papers filed by Mushelenga he argued that the agreement between the parties should be declared “unlawful, null and void”.

    The minister explained that before the publication of a Government Gazette in June 2010, “there was a concern relating to the affordability of the remuneration packages offered by local authorities”.

    Of primary concern was the costly five-year leave bonus benefits which government “wanted to do away with, as it was found to constitute a heavy burden on the finances of the respective local authorities”.

    The minister said this issue was addressed in a 2010 government notice, and although the five-year bonus was not referenced to directly, “effective 24 June 2010, insofar as the municipality is concerned, such bonuses were not payable to its employees”.

    In March, in a letter marked extremely urgent, the government attorney informed the ministry of the agreement and the upcoming sale of the immovable property, after being approached by the acting chief executive of the Grootfontein municipality in a bid for help.

    The government attorney highlighted that the agreement was reached “despite several ministerial directives to discontinue the payment of the five-year bonuses”.

    The government attorney's letter also noted that challenging the matter legally “will not be the best option or if an option at all”.



    Loss

    The sale in execution of two UD 80 and one UD 85 Truck Tippers was slated for 4 April.

    The minister said “these are valuable assets of the local authority concerned and these assets now stand to be sold”, as part of the Labour Court order “which was improperly concluded between the municipality and the employees”.

    Mushelenga argued that he was not notified of the sales and argued if the trucks were sold “the public at large of the Grootfontein municipality area will lose the use of the relevant assets”.

    “This will be a loss to the public in general.”

    During arguments, the legal team acting on behalf of the employees stressed that the labour dispute did not only revolve around the five-year bonuses, but also around unpaid overtime, which the final settlement agreement addressed.

    They Grootfontein employees also argued that “before the abolishment of the five-year bonuses in February 2018 by council, nothing prohibited it from paying the bonuses as the personnel rules published in the gazette do not expressly prohibit council from paying such bonuses”.

    Judgement was delivered on 18 June.

    The ministry was represented by advocate Gerson Narib with assistance from government attorney Immanuel Dausab, while the respondents were represented by EE Coetzee, instructed by Tjitemisa & Associates.



    JANA-MARI SMTIH

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     NaCC approves Rössing sale NaCC approves Rössing sale
    The Namibia Competition Commission has approved the sale of Rössing Uranium Limited to China National Uranium Corporation, but with stringent conditions, its spokesperson Dina Gowases announced this morning.
    While it was found by the commission that the transaction would not result in any unfair competition on the part of CNUC acquiring Rössing, the commission felt the procurement of local goods by CNUC and job security for locals was a notable concern.
    To safeguard employment and local procurement, the commission imposed certain conditions, she said.
    “There shall be no merger specific retrenchments of employees of Rössing Uranium for a period of two years. Rössing shall maintain a ratio of at least 95% local employees to foreign employees until the expiry of the lifespan of the mine,” she said.
    In addition, Rössing was not allowed to employ any non-Namibian person at management level on any basis other than on a two-year contract fixed term contract, she said.
    Rio Tinto, Rössing’s majority shareholder last year announced the sale of its stake for N$1.5 billion to CNUC.

    STAFF REPORTER


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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Junior chess titans to clash
  • Junior chess titans to clashJunior chess titans to clash Kingdom Way Chess Academy will host it's first-ever tournament tomorrow at the Goethe-Institut in Windhoek.

    Students as young as five from Delta Primary, Windhoek Gymnasium, St Pauls, Gardener Academy, Windhoek International, Windhoek Central and Sunshine Academy are expected to take part in the tournament.

    According to Idda Amunime, the administrator at Kingdom Way Chess Academy, they are expecting close to 60 students.

    “We are hosting the tournament to inspire and develop minds and also to give a chance to some of the students who have never taken part in competitive tournaments like this,” said Amunime, who is also a chess player.

    She said they are trying to get sponsorship in order to draw aspiring chess players from schools based in Katutura.

    The likes of junior chess player Manfredo Gaoseb, who earlier this year won a blitz chess tournament, as well as Kevin Gurirab and the Mashoko brothers - Benjamin and William - will be among those to look out for tomorrow.

    Leonard Nghifikwa, a chess coach at the academy, said encouraged more girls to take up the mental sport, as the majority of participants at the tournament will be boys.

    He said they are pushing and advocating for chess to be professionalised and introduced as a subject at schools.

    “It's our vision to promote the implementation of chess in schools as a subject, because it helps with concentration and analytical skills, as well as creativity, and teaches patience,” he said.

    “There will be eight group. starting at 9:00 and they are expected to end at around 15:00. Students will be divided into groups according to their age.”

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Reliving 1998
  • Reliving 1998Reliving 1998Warriors out for vengeance The Brave Warriors and Bafana Bafana share a rivalry that will be reignited when two teams meet tonight at 22:00 in Egypt. Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti has ruled out any similar scoreline to Afcon 1998, when the two nations clash tonight in a do-or-die fixture at the latest edition of the tournament in Egypt.

    With memories of a 1-4 defeat at the hands of South Africa in the 1998 still lingering, many are still haunted by the embarrassing defeat.

    On 16 February 1998, South African teenager Benny McCarthy broke Namibian hearts by scoring four goals in the first half of the match to give his team a crushing victory in Burkina Faso.

    The two teams have been pitted against each other 21 years later in the same competition and both need a victory to keep their chances alive in Group D, which also features African giants Morocco and Ivory Coast.

    The Brave Warriors are mentored by a man who played in 1998 and who knows exactly how it feels to lose to South Africa at Afcon.

    Mannetti is aware that it will be his responsibility to ensure that there is no repeat of that horror match.

    The coach knows that a second defeat for the Warriors at Afcon 2019 will not only rub salt in their 1998 wounds, but will also leave them all but eliminated from the tournament. They still have to face Ivory Coast, after losing via an own-goal to Morocco in their opening match.

    “As coaches that have been here at Afcon as players, we know how difficult it is and we will share our experiences with the boys ahead of a match carrying such significance.

    “We want the players to have a touch of arrogance, but not too much, when we play against South Africa,” Mannetti said.

    “The players have to know that they deserve to be here and are capable of changing things around.”

    Mannetti is confident that his players will do better than the class of 1998 in Burkina Faso.

    The coach said he has shared his experiences of 1998 and the players are fired up.

    “It is emotional and sentimental for me as a coach and we are really positive to do better than what we done against Morocco.

    “A Bafana match is one of those games where everyone wants bragging rights, because most of them play against each other domestically,” Mannetti said.

    The coach also revealed that Willy Stephanus, who has been struggling with an injury, is getting better.

    “The other players are all fit and raring to go, but Stephanus will definitely start on the bench and we will see how we can use him,” he said.

    Many Namibian fans hope they will not have to go through what happened 21 years ago.

    “I remember switching off my TV at halftime because I was so heartbroken by what I have just witnessed.

    “It is a wound that will never heal, unless we beat South Africa in this competition for the very first time in Afcon history.

    “Yes, I hope that Riccardo Mannetti will help the team deliver that vengeful victory to our rivals,” said Joe Kandji, an avid Warriors supporter.

    Mike Goodman, who was 23 when South Africa humbled Namibia in 1998, is adamant that his nation has a stronger side this time around.

    “It was one of the matches I will never forget, because I cried my heart out. I am, however, confident that this current crop of players will do much better against South Africa.

    “The only thing I am hoping for is for Ricardo Mannetti's team to attack from the first minute,” Goodman said.

    Morocco lead Group A with three points, followed by Ivory Coast, also on three points, with Namibia and South Africa in third and fourth respectively.

    Ivory Coast defeated South Africa 1-0 in their opening group match.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Springbok fans 'on their backs'Springbok fans 'on their backs' Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Handre Pollard, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Faf de Klerk and their Springbok colleagues will be preparing for rugby battles this year with pictures of thousands of Springbok fans on their backs, thanks to the launch of a new campaign on Wednesday.

    Supporters are being invited to visibly rally behind the Springboks by submitting their selfies to be placed on the playing numbers on Springbok jerseys for the entire season, including their Rugby World Cup campaign.

    The 'Faces on Numbers' initiative will kick off during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, when the Springboks will be in action against the Wallabies, All Blacks and Argentina.

    The faces of ordinary supporters, family members, and media and celebrity fans will be inserted onto the playing numbers of team jerseys for the two home test matches.

    These are against the Wallabies on Saturday, 20 July 20 at Emirates Airlines Park in Johannesburg and against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on 17 August in Pretoria.

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Thrilling doubleheader
  • Thrilling doubleheaderThrilling doubleheaderMorocco hope to torment Ivory Coast, Bafana and Namibia clash Morocco are eyeing a victory against Ivory Coast, while the Brave Warriors tackle Bafana Bafana. Since transforming perennial underachievers Ivory Coast into African champions four years ago, Herve Renard has tormented them as coach of Morocco.

    The 50-year-old Frenchman, whose match-day shirts are always white, ensured the 2017 title defence of the Ivoirians did not last beyond the first round as they fell 0-1 to the Moroccans.

    Renard inflicted more misery on his former team in their 2018 World Cup qualifying, with a 2-0 triumph in Abidjan taking Morocco to Russia at the expense of Ivory Coast.

    Considered potential winners of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt, Morocco and the Ivory Coast meet today in a Group D top-of-the-table showdown in Cairo.

    “This is a special game for me,” said Renard, the only coach to win the Cup of Nations with two countries, Zambia and the Ivory Coast.

    Here, AFP Sport previews the Group D doubleheader with the Ivory Coast vs Morocco clash followed by Namibia against South Africa, while Group E leaders Mali face Tunisia in Suez.

    Both countries launched their campaigns with solitary-goal victories in the sweltering mid-afternoon Cairo heat, but the Ivoirians will have been the happier side.

    While they outmuscled South Africa and should have won by more than a Jonathan Kodjia strike, Morocco laboured to a win that came via a late Itamunua Keimuine own-goal.

    Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara said “the result was more important than the performance”.

    “It was critical not to fail in our opening match”.

    Rather than slam a lacklustre Moroccan display, Renard hailed Namibia: “They were well-organised and coached.”

    While both nations should advance to the last 16, but winning the group would set up a fixture against one of the third-place qualifiers, while coming second means taking on the Group E winners.

    Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti played for his country when they were humiliated 1-4 by South Africa at the 1998 Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso

    “The best way to banish those memories would be to beat Bafana Bafana (The Boys). We have never won a Cup of Nations match and that is our priority,” he said.

    “My players were heartbroken after holding Morocco for 89 minutes and then losing to an own-goal.”

    South Africa was inept against the Ivoirians and this match could decide which country sneaks through as a third-place finisher and which makes an early exit.

    England-born coach Stuart Baxter has warned his players not to underestimate Namibia because “this match is like a cup final for them”.

    Tunisia coach and former France star Alain Giresse knows what to expect from Mali as he coached them twice at the Cup of Nations with mixed results.

    Under him, the Malians came third at the 2012 Cup of Nations in Gabon but made a first round exit in the same country two years ago without winning a match.

    Now Giresse hopes to bring the Malian Eagles down to earth after they achieved the biggest win of the 12 first series matches in Egypt, a 4-1 hammering of debutants Mauritania.

    The Mali scorers included burly Moussa Marega, who notched six goals for Porto in the Champions League last season, the equal third-best tally.

    Tunisia were the only one of the six top group seeds not to collect maximum points and midfielder Ferjani Sassi blamed “an inability to convert chances” for a 1-1 draw with Angola.

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    Geingob okwa hulitha po elongitho nayi lyiimaliwa - HengariGeingob okwa hulitha po elongitho nayi lyiimaliwa - HengariTa popi kutya epangelo olyiitulamo mokuhupitha eliko Omupopiliko gwOmupresidnde Hage Geingob okwa popi kutya omutse gwoshilongo ogwa ningi omalunduluko nokuhulitha po elongitho lyiimaliwa kiinima mbyoka inayi pumbiwa momalweendo oshowo momutumba. Alfredo Hengari okwa popi kutya Geingob okwa ningi omatokolo omanene mokuhulitha po elongitho lyiiyemo omolwa oshizemo shompumbwe yiimaliwa shoka sha etithwa kegwo pevi lyeliko momvula yo 2013.

    Okwa popi ngaaka ta yamukula komapulo ngoka a ningilwa koshifokundaneki shoNamibin Sun kutya omolwashike omuleli ita shunitha pevi omwaalu gwiilyo yokabinete oshowo omwaalu gwaagandjimayele ye onga omukalo gwokushunitha pevi elongitho lyiimaliwa oyindji pethimbo mpoka oshilongo sha taalela ompumbwe yoshimaliwa.

    Okwa li woo a pulwa kutya oshike omupresidende a tula miilonga onga omukalo gwokuhupitha iimaliwa yoshigwana pethimbo oshilongo sha taalela onkalo ya dhigupala.

    Geingob okwa li a lombwele oshifokundaneki shoNew Era kuyele omvula ndjika kutya okabinete kongashiingeyi okanene na ope na omatompelo.

    “Omupresidende Sam Nujoma, okwa li omukokoli presidende nependafule. Okwa li e na elelo lyopaushitwe. Omupresidende Pohamba okwali a mwena kashona ihe ngawe otandi ungaunga naantu yepupi lyandje, mpoka kehe gumwe kwali ta vulu okuninga omupresidende. Ondili methiminiko enene opo ndi kale nokabinete okanene molwaashoka aantu mboka yoomvula dhandje oya hala okukwatelwa mo. Andola osha kala sha piyagana ngele inandi ya ulika,” omupresidende a li a popi.

    Hengari okwa li a pula kutya omuleli okwa tula miilonga omilandu dhini mokushunitha pevi elongitho yiimaliwa, sho epangelo lya tokola okuhehela oshimaliwa shoopresenda 2 okuza oondjambi dhaaniilonga.

    “Elongitho lyiimaliwa inali pumbiwa olya kuthwa po okuza komalweendo nomitumba. Owa pumbwa okudhimbulukithwa kutya omupresidende okwa kaleke elonguluko lyokapale koodhila koshimaliwa oshindji nokwiitula mo mokukondjitha uulingilingi.”

    Aatseyinawa oye wete kutya Geingob okwiiyadha pokati kemanya nehala lyathinana kombinga yomwaalu gwiilyo yokabinete ke oshowo aagandjimayele ye.

    Omunongononi gwonkalo yopolotika, Ndumba Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya pakantu yimwe onkalo yeliko yanayipala ndjoka ya taalela Namibia oyi na sha nomwaalu omunene gwokabineta kaNamibia.

    Okwa gwedha po kutya unene oompito dhiilonga oombali dhoka dha ningwa po nonando poompito mpoka otapu vulu owala okukala omuntu gumwe.

    Okwa popi kutya otashi pula oshindji okuza moshiketha shepangelo okukala nomwaalu gwokabinete guthike pokabinete kaNamibia, sho pe na aagandjimayele yomupresidende mboka natango ye na aagandjimayele na ope na woo oominista ndhoka tadhi ungaunga nompangu nuuyuki, ihe ope na woo aagandjimayele mboka taya gandja omayele komupresidende shi na niikumungu yekotampango nooveta.

    Omunongononi gwonkalo yeliko, Omu Kakujaha-Matundu okwiinekela kutya omupresidende okwa tulwa ponkalo ya piyagana kookomarade ye na otashi ka kala oshidhigu okuya kutha miilonga.

    “Ondi wete shoka tashi ka vula okulonga ngele eliko olya gupevi nayi okukambadhala okushunitha pevi omauwanawa gawo na otaya ka kala ye na ehogololo lyomauwanawa taga shuna pevi nenge yaka konge iilonga palwe.”

    Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya ope na omaiyuvo mokati kaaleli yaAfrika kutya oshindji osho oshiwanawa, ta popi kutya omaiyuvo ngoka oga pumbwa okukuthwa po na oya pumbwa okwiilonga okuza kiilongo mbyoka ya putuka.

    “Otu na omwaalu gwaakwashigwana gwaantu ye li poomiliyona 2.5 ihe otuna okabinete ke na aantu ye vulithe po 25. otu na okwiilonga kutya otatu vulu okupondola oshindji tu na omwaalu omushona gwokabinete. Okwa pumbwa okutalika kuunongo naantu mboka taya vulu okulonga pehala lyokukala owala nomwaalu gwaantu mboka kaye na uunongo washa.”

    Kamwanyah okwa popi kutya otashi ulike kutya epangelo olya fa kali wete shoka tashi shunitha pevi eliko lyoshilongo nokweeta uupyakadhi.

    Okwa popi kutya okwa pumbwa okutalika kutya uupyakadhi tawu zilile peni nokukambadhala okukandula po uupyakadhi taku talika mpoka tawu zilile molwaashoka itashi kwatha sha oku ninga oonkambadhala dhokukandula po onkalo ndjoka ya taalela oshilongo ngele kaku shiwike kutya uupyakadhi otawu etithwa koshike.

    Okwa tsikile kutya ngele epangelo otali kambadhala okutota po oompito dhiilonga miikondo ya yooloka nena shoka otashi ka kwathela meyambulepo lyeliko, ihe omupya omunene ke wete ngele epangelo otali ningi oompangela dha sha.

    Kakujaha-Matundu okwa popi kutya ope na oominista ndhoka dha kala mokabinete uule woomvula 10 na odha oya pumbwa okumangululwa.

    “Aantu oya kala mepangelo ethimbo ele, na oyiimonena eliko lyagwana oku ya hupitha uule woomvula omulongo nenge oomvula dhoka taya vulu okukala kombanda yevi.

    “Omupresidende ota vulu okukalapo naantu mboka taya vulu natango okulonga na otaya e ta po sha.”

    Hengari okwa popi kutya Geingob kwa tula miilonga oHarambee Prosperity Plan omvula 2016, opo a kwashilipaleke kutya eliko lyaNamibia olya hupithwa.

    Okwa popi kutya epangelo olyiitulamo mokuhupitha eliko ta popi woo kombinga yonkalo yoshikukuta moka a popi kutya nonando oshilongo osha taalela onkalo yoshikukutha ya dhigupala, epangelo olyiitulamo nokwiikalekela oshimaliwa sha thika poomiliyona 500 shoka tashi ka longithwa mokuungaunga nomukundu ngoka.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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    'Arrogant' Geingob under fire'Arrogant' Geingob under fire President Hage Geingob has come under fire from the official opposition for his alleged “nonchalant” and “arrogant style” of governance of late.

    This followed Geingob's “none of your business” response to a journalist Sackeus Ikela when asked why a closed-door State House meeting was held with the Mexican billionaire Alberto Baillères, who has offered to purchase the Erindi Private Game Reserve.

    Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani said yesterday there was no excuse for Geingob's conduct towards the journalist.

    According to Venaani, Geingob is increasingly becoming indifferent to Namibians who question his governance of the country, adding every Namibian has the right to ask questions about how their country is run.

    “His power must be used for the betterment of the Namibian people. Arrogance is not leadership. I wonder if it is power that has gone to his head,” Venaani said.

    Another thing that bothers Venaani is that the president puts his hands in his pockets when meeting other heads of states or billionaires.

    “Why can't he take one hand out? Standing with his hands in your pockets when you meet other presidents at international events is not etiquette,” Venaani added.

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Air Namibia restores flights
  • Air Namibia restores flightsAir Namibia restores flights Air Namibia will restore some of the flights that were suspended earlier this month, following a maintenance check that was completed on one of its A319s.

    The frequencies that were suspended on 3 June will be restored effective from 1 July, while Air Namibia's normal schedule will be completely restored in between three to four weeks.

    Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa said since 3 June, flight frequencies on the Windhoek-Johannesburg route have been one rotation per day or seven rotations per week. Effective from 1 July these will increase to 14 rotations that will be operated on the route weekly.

    “We will maintain two flights per day to Cape Town, while flights to Luanda in Angola will remain suspended until further notice,” said Air Namibia interim CEO Xavier Masule.

    According to Nakawa an Airbus A319-100, which was undergoing a heavy maintenance check in Cyprus, will be ferried to Johannesburg this coming weekend for final maintenance checks.

    It is expected to re-enter service a week thereafter. Further flights will be re-introduced and details will be communicated in due course, he said.

    “We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to all our corporate and leisure customers, as well as other passengers, for their continued business support during this most challenging time. We also thank sincerely the travel agents and tour operators for their continuous support,” Nakawa added.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Suspend resettlement - ELCRN
  • Suspend resettlement - ELCRNSuspend resettlement - ELCRNChurches makes impassioned appeal to head of state ELCRN has also called on President Hage Geingob to explore all legal, policy and presidential executive powers to cancel deals to sell land to foreigners. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCRN) leadership wants President Hage Geingob to temporarily suspend government's resettlement programme.

    ELCRN also called on Geingob to explore all legal, policy and presidential executive powers to cancel deals to sell land to foreigners.

    In a statement issued by Bishop Ernst //Gamxamûb, Geingob was urged to institute a comprehensive audit of the resettlement programme and issue a presidential directive for an urgent review, in line with the consensus reached at the country's second national land conference last year.

    According to //Gamxamûb, ELCRN is dissatisfied that the national resettlement policy and programme is ongoing, which is in total disregard of a land conference decision that the programme be reviewed and changed in line with conference resolutions.

    “Currently a significant number of farms are being hastily acquired by the lands ministry, despite the current drought and economic crisis,” he said.

    //Gamxamûb said the programme continues to resettle people using criteria and a policy that were both rejected by the land conference.

    “The recently acquired farms can be utilised for emergency grazing by affected farmers in those regions, as part of the drought relief programme, until a new resettlement programme has been finalised.”

    The bishop said the farms can also be utilised to resettle landless Namibians who were “dumped” by the land reform ministry on so-called group resettlement farms that have turned out to be worse than colonial reserves.

    Land sales to foreigners

    //Gamxamûb said they are very concerned and disturbed by the ongoing sales of land to foreigners and Namibians that continue to own excessive land portions.

    “The so-called Russian deal for the sale of the land near Dordabis was shameful and a very insensitive move by (land reform) minister Utoni Nujoma at a time when thousand of landless Namibians are crying for land and intense discussions were taking place in preparation of the land conference.”

    He said the proposed sale of the Erindi Private Game Reserve to another foreigner also raises serious concerns about the commitment of government towards the outcomes of dialogues at the land conference.

    “Instead government must, in line with current constitutional and legal provisions, expropriate Erindi and make it available for the empowerment of Namibians.”

    He said Erindi does not have to become a resettlement farm for livestock grazing, but can continue as a tourism business with Namibian ownership, targeting those mostly affected by landlessness and poverty.

    //Gamxamûb commended Geingob for having the foresight to act promptly in terms of the establishment of the commission of inquiry into claims of ancestral land rights and restitution on 21 February, as per the resolutions of the second national land conference.

    He said the ELCRN leadership actively participated at this historic conference through a high-level delegation led by Deputy Bishop Paul Hatani Kisting. “It is therefore pleasing to note that the commission has commenced its work with urgency and dedication, and will travel during the month of July to various parts of Namibia to conduct intensive public hearings and consultations.”

    The ELCRN leadership therefore requests all its rank and file, structures, institutions, and in particular the clergy, to assist, support and encourage affected communities to prepare thoroughly and make submissions to the commission.

    “We make the same call to all relevant stakeholders to support this important work of the commission and not to use the process for selfish party-political electioneering and other hidden agendas.”

    ELCRN expressed the hope that the final report of the commission will be acted on with urgency and receive the critical priority it deserves.

    According to //Gamxamûb the abovementioned issues will be raised with the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) for its support and further action.

    They will also engage broader civil society before formally engaging the presidency and government in general.

    ELLANIE SMIT

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: The wait is over
  • The wait is overThe wait is overNadia Nakai drops debut album 'Naked' today The artist shared that there is a lot that goes into completing an album. Family Tree artist Nadia Nakai will release her long-awaited album today and tjil caught up with her on what the new project is all about and why it took her so long to release it.

    In an interview with tjil, the rapper described Naked as a very musical project, stating that it encompasses various musical elements, not just raps, and 808 instrumentals. She mentioned that on the album she worked with Gemini Maejor, Kwesta, Lady Zamar and more.

    “I feel proud for having completed this album. I am excited but also scared at the time, but all in all, I am happy that my fans finally have what they have been asking for,” said Nadia Nakai.

    On why it took her long to complete the album, Nadia Nakai shared that there is a lot that goes into completing an album and she wanted to make sure that all the boxes were ticked before availing it. “I do not think people fully understand the amount of work that goes into recording an album. It takes so much energy and time,” she said.

    On the roll-out plan, Nadia Nakai announced that she will be going on an African tour starting in September. “I am excited for the African tour. To my fans thank you so much for the support and do not hesitate to tweet me and tell me what you think of the album,” she said.



    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Challo keeps it real on third albumChallo keeps it real on third albumPromises a classic Oviritje piece of work Former Ongoro Nomundu lead singer Omukapere Nderura, popularly known as Challo, is launching his third solo album tonight at The Office in Katutura. It is never an easy thing to elevate yourself beyond your own expectations, and to fully take charge of your career is a whole different story. Challo is one great example of this; having dropped two solo albums in the last three years pretty much justifies his grip on the game.

    Challo maintains that right now he is one not to be overlooked, or underestimated.

    Challo shared that the title of his new album is Owami Challo, which means I am still Challo.

    He mentioned that the album has 11 songs and was produced by Mo Fire Blenge. “I am grateful to Mo Fire Blenge for having produced the majority of this album but more than that for believing in me and motivating me to get back in the music industry as a solo artist,” said Challo.

    Describing the sonic direction he took on the album, Challo said he was not afraid to fuse different styles with Oviritje. “Oviritje as a genre has grown over the years and as a result it has produced sub-genres, and on this album I was not scared to tap into new sounds. “I have recorded a classic Oviritje album. I cannot wait for people to hear it,” he said.

    He announced that he will also be having album launches at Walvis Bay and Opuwo later in the year. His aim is to spread the music as much as he can. “Like I said Oviritje has grown over the years. I am at a point where I am no longer making music for a certain group of people, my music is universal,” he said.



    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 06/27/19--16:00: Selma spills the beans
  • Selma spills the beansSelma spills the beansMiss Namibia pens damning allegations It has not been a smooth journey for outgoing Miss Namibia Selma Kamanya as a statement by her revealed injustices she experienced by the pageant organisation during her reign. As she prepares to hand over the crown to the incoming Miss Namibia next month, Selma Kamanya took to social media to convey the challenges she encountered during her tenure, in a lengthy letter.

    Among the challenges she raised included emotional abuse, gross mismanagement and lack of cooperation with some of the organisation's stakeholders – namely the social media manager and events manager.

    In the statement, Kamanya revealed that she was traumatised when those who were entrusted with her wellbeing as Miss Namibia often shared derogatory remarks and insults with sponsors and their contacts. The statement further pointed out that during her year of reign, her spending of personal funds quadrupled as she learned that as Miss Namibia she had to cover much of the expenses from personal funds. “The impact of this was felt most severely by my parents, who had to sustain me continually.

    “Bluntly speaking, there was no real monetary reward or otherwise for becoming an ambassador for Namibia through this platform, despite the many sacrifices one has to make for the benefit of the title,” read the statement.

    She revealed that Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), as main sponsor, gave N$300 000 towards the pageant and stated that she only received N$18 000 in cash prizes, broken down as N$10 000 from NDTC, N$4 000 from Standard Bank as well as N$4 000 from Emanya at Etosha. “Of this sum, I only received the first N$8 000 after numerous requests, including by my mother who pleaded for payment. I have since visited sponsors that have informed that they have given cash prizes to the pageant, of which I know nothing about.”

    When contacted for a comment on the statement, Kamanya confirmed the authenticity of the statement to tjil. “I won't be commenting on that matter anymore because everything I ever wanted to say was addressed in the letter,” said Kamanya.

    Former Miss Namibia 2010 Odile Gertze said during her reign there were a lot of sponsors on board, but there were circumstances that forced her to fork out money from her own pocket to cater to her Miss Namibia needs.

    “When it comes to the emotional abuse I also did experience some of the things Selma Kamanya highlighted. I am proud of her for speaking out and I hope this will compel the organisation to do better.

    “Being Miss Namibia is an incredible blessing but that blessing comes with a heavy burden,” said Gertze.



    Sponsor reacts

    NDTC spokesperson Helena Mootseng told tjil that as a partner of the Miss Namibia beauty pageant, NDTC takes note of challenges highlighted by Kamanya and will remain committed to finding solutions with all stakeholders that propel the pageant forward. Mootseng added that the issue of prize money would have been dealt with directly with the pageant as custodian of the Miss Namibia pageant.

    “NDTC sponsored an amount of N$300 000 towards the 2018/19 Miss Namibia pageant, primarily for ensuring a successful event would be hosted. The pageant enjoyed the liberty of disbursing the funds addressing priorities outside of NDTC's involvement.

    “However for 2019/20 an amount of N$100 000 is allocated as prize money,” said Mootseng.

    Attempts to get comment from the pageant's director Connie Maritz proved futile.



    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Keeping the youth off the streetKeeping the youth off the street Based in Tsumeb, the Arts Performance Centre (APC) gives the youth a platform to explore their musical capabilities.

    Founded in 2003 by Lis Hidber and the late Father Hans Leu, the existence of the APC has since had to rely on donor funding to fulfil its purpose.

    The centre's public relations officer Alina Garises told tjil APC is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation.

    She mentioned that APC has two branches, one in Tsumeb and the other in Oshikuku.

    “The centre's mission and higher purpose is to keep children and youth away from the streets, and any crime-related activities, by acquainting them with artistic activities - music, dance, drawing and painting,” said Garises.

    Garises added that APC strives to strengthen the youth's interest and skills in personality enriching ways to pass their leisure time. In doing so, APC contributes to the desirable development of young people in Tsumeb and Oshikuku.

    “This also includes pre-primary education, which involves children from three to six years old,” she said.

    Garises announced that this year APC has registered about 375 pupils at the centre in Tsumeb and 90 at Oshikuku.

    The students range from well-to-do family backgrounds to the extreme opposite, from poverty-stricken areas.

    Popular violinist Ronaldo happens to be an alumnus from the centre. Ronaldo shared that he attended APC for free and the centre sent him to Switzerland in 2014 where he attended a music workshop, also for free.

    “I am grateful for all the opportunities the APC granted me and the community at large and I urge young people from Tsumeb to make use of the centre to sharpen their skills,” said Ronaldo. Ronaldo described the founder as very helpful with the goal of uplifitng the community of Tsumeb through music. “Lis Hidber is always willing to extend her helping hand to help young people.

    I am based in Windhoek now and playing a violin at social and corporate events is mainly how I sustain myself, and for that I am thankful,” said Ronaldo.



    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Playmakers present Meet me at DawnPlaymakers present Meet me at DawnQuality theatre production with a limited budget Playmakers, an amateur drama group is happy to launch its first project, 'Meet me at Dawn' through the Arts Alive programme. Arts Alive is a drama initiative to try to find ways of doing experimental and scripted theatre in innovative spaces with a creative and limited budget.

    Each production has a cast and crew that enjoys the benefits of being in a production, where possible, and depending on the production all performance fees will be waived and the box office receipts will be shared equally between the director, producer, actors and technicians.

    The group exists to develop the creativity of individuals and a sense of community through a society, which explores the locality, and history of the area in which the members live.

    The audience becomes a partner in a shared experience, celebrating a sense of heritage and community, and this is done through localising productions.

    The group's first project Meet me at Dawn started screening on Wednesday, 26 June and will screen for the last time today at the National Theatre of Namibia's Mirror Room at 19:00.

    Meet me at Dawn was written by award-winning playwright, Zinnie Harris and directed by Sandy Rudd. Lara Lyn Ahrens and Roya Diehl, two of Namibia's award-winning actors, perform in this tender, haunting piece of theatre.

    Lara-Lyn is an award-winning theatre and film actress. She began her performance career in 2008 with studies at the University of Namibia in Performance Arts.

    Since then she has worked extensively in the film and theatre industries in Namibia.

    Meet me at Dawn reunites Lara-Lyn with Sandy Rudd, whom she worked with on April Fools, a 2014 stage play, and with Roya Diehl, whom she worked with on The Unlikely Encounter, a 2017 feature film. On the other hand, Roya Diehl is a film and theatre actress who started her acting career in 1997 as the female lead in a musical directed by Sandy Rudd.

    She has since appeared in several more musicals and stage productions, made her screen debut, had a stint in industrial theatre, written and directed her first play, and worked as the casting director and production manager on a web series. Meet me at Dawn sees her return to the NTN stage under the direction of Sandy Rudd.

    Meet Me at Dawn is a modern fable exploring the triumph of everyday love, the mystery of grief, and the temptation to become lost in a fantasy future that will never be.

    As the two women (Lara-Lyn Ahrens &Roya Diehl) crawl ashore a bleak rocky island.

    Soaked to the skin, with adrenaline surging through their veins, they have both miraculously survived the capsizing of their rented boat unharmed.

    As the couple grapple to understand what is happening to them on this otherworldly island, it becomes clear that the island is nothing they have ever experienced before.

    The production deals with the complexities of loss and survival.

    It is a subliminal, mysterious experience with a subtle touch, but there is nothing subtle about the grief on display here, it is a tough play dealing with tough questions.

    STAFF REPORTER

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