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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Thoughts on the NAMAs
  • Thoughts on the NAMAsThoughts on the NAMAs As it happens, a lot of the content in this edition was prepared after MTC announced they will be bidding farewell to the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) project after next year's event. As a fan of the Namibian music industry, I was going through it, man.

    On the one hand, MTC is the leading corporate company in Namibia that has awarded and recognised the work of Namibian artists in the last nine years like no other. Through the NAMAs, MTC changed the course of music in Namibia countless times, forcing the industry and listeners to challenge themselves beyond what they knew. This happened to artists with each awards show that was held.

    During MTC's tenure of hosting/sponsoring the NAMAs, they put the spotlight on new talent and reintroduced us to some of our musical legends by honouring them with lifetime achievement awards and similar categories. To a greater extent, MTC made it possible for mainstream artists to make a good income from an awards show. This was money that some musicians used to invest back into their artistry and develop their careers further.

    MTC did not make a profit from sponsoring/hosting the NAMAs. What is disappointing is that despite this knowledge, some artists became disrespectful, arrogant and thought they were entitled, but that is a discussion for another day.

    On the other hand, MTC's time to be at the forefront is over, and I pray the industry will find another corporate giant to take the NAMAs to the next level.

    Just like MTC was able to improve the standard of this awards show from where Sanlam Namibia left off, whichever entity takes over and joins forces with NBC, should do the same. Besides hoping for another saviour from the corporate world, this is the time for all the so-called members and supporters of the arts community, keyboard warriors and lip-service individuals to put ideas together and play your part in at least coming up with ideas to sustain this industry. We see you, and want you to know that you are the very thing that is stifling the progress of the music scene. Not the music, not record labels, not merchandise, YOU! If you are a true supporter of local music, this is the time to support our artists more than ever before, by attending their shows, purchasing their music as well as merchandise, because the future of the industry looks bleak at this point. No more lip-service to show your support for the business of music in Namibia. And to all those who contribute to its growth: Go out there and offer real support.

    michael@namibiansun.com; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Not your average jokes
  • Not your average jokesNot your average jokesEducating through laughter Climatic comedy took centre stage at the EnviroComedy festival. ESTER KAMATI

    Subjects such as climate change and global warming have never been an issue to laugh about, at least not until the EnviroComedy festival.

    Powered by EduVentures, the line-up of comedians broke the ice last Friday with topics like rising sea levels and global warming, among others.

    Hosted by comedian Fernando Tafish, the show at the Zoo Park amphitheatre aimed to give due importance to the topics through discussing them in a way that people enjoy. Tafish highlighted the importance of climate change as a predominant issue, and according to him, it is one that is relatable to individuals from all parts of the world, and thus anybody attending the show could understand the jokes.

    The show was opened with a pilot skit of locals answering questions based on the environment, and according to Tafish, the team visited various towns to film these short videos, including Outapi, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Rundu, Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Swakopmund.

    During the comedy show, even Mother Nature was in on the joke, as there were a few showers after a few jokes about the drought in the country.

    With a line-up that included Namibia’s most loved comedians and some newbies in the game, the night went by swiftly.

    On the stage were, among others, Courage the Comedian, Slick the D**k, Joe White, Lloyd the Comedian, Ileka, Big Mitch and an appearance by OC Ebs.

    Still tearing it up on the stage was YouTube sensation Cassie Jessica, who shared classic jokes about living in a typical Owambo home. Zieta is also another new face on the comedy scene and lightened the mood with jokes about how Namibians were raised into a recycling culture, having to use items such as the typical ‘ice-cream bakkie’ for multiple purposes.

    According to Tafish, the aim of the event was to make use of what people like, and use it to convey a message. And of course everybody loves a good joke. EduVentures, which is an educational programme of the National Museum, provided funding for the project, and they were on a quest to raise environmental awareness, and according to Maria Johannes, “educate people through laughter”.

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: It's about time
  • It's about timeIt's about timeThere's a new 'femcee' in town Emvee-K is bougie, sassy, unapologetic and determined to succeed. Allow us to introduce you to the next lady of trap and heavy bars: Emvee-K.

    With thighs that go on for days, you would expect to see a beauty such as this on the @namibian_beautiful_faces Instagram page, but when this young lady opens her mouth she lets you know that she possesses an impressive music-making skillset. This rookie is set to keep soaring high with her Boujee Craft mixtape, which will be digitally released tomorrow on iTunes, as well as on SoundCloud.

    Mixed and mastered by sought-after producer Mr Glo of Glo Productions, Boujee Craft is a nine-track compilation, which Emvee-K maintains is a project for music fans, and not industry players. “I have released music before and a lot of people tell me that they acknowledge that I can rap, but they do not know me as a person.

    “So this project is me being fully myself and introducing myself all over again. I would like to think of it as a rebirth of myself - it's a proper introduction of myself.”

    She dropped a compilation of music in the form of an extended play (EP) before, but she maintains this is her official first body of work. Emvee-K tells tjil she was specific about a lot of things during the production of Boujee Craft and worked on every single detail on it. “I look at it like this: The EP I first put out was because I just needed to drop songs, and I did not know a lot about the music-making process. On this project a lot went into it,” she said.

    Having worked with some of the best producers and artists on her first project, already indicates that she has the potential to go far with her music.

    She admitted that she does not have a strategy for entering the market and becoming fully commercial.

    “A lot of people are not being themselves because they are caught up with who they wish to be. I just want to be genuine and true to myself, the best way I can be,” she said, adding that during the making of Boujee Craft she had to discipline herself, as she is wary of getting lost in the hype.

    The sassy rapper shared she worked with artists that she knew were going to understand her vision.

    “Every feature was special, but my feature with Himba Boi was the most exciting, because he got me to get out of my comfort zone; people should really look out for it.”

    Being the daughter of a public figure (Evilastus Kaaronda), tjil had to ask if she is pressured into a certain ideology when it comes to the content of her writing and does she feel musicians should be more outspoken when it comes to politics.

    She replied that if she wants to comment on something she always tries to make sure that she knows all the facts, especially when it comes to politics.

    She revealed she has aired her opinions about it a few times, but learned to keep quiet. “It comes to a point where I watch what I say or do, but music is my form of expression,” she said.

    Emvee-K also announced that the mixtape will be complemented with a documentary about herself.

    She emphasised she wants music fans to get to know her as a person and feels the mixtape and documentary will help her achieve that.

    “I feel like if music fans get to know me, it will be easier for them to relate to the stories I narrate in my songs.

    “I was going to also share the documentary this week, but we figured it will be too much content from me in one week, so we will release it soon. The documentary is basically an interview where I open up and speak on everything,” she added.


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: When things go south
  • When things go southWhen things go southWill LPM be a whimper or a bang? When former Swapo youthful firebrand Bernadus Swartbooi lost his deputy minister's post, amid the washing of dirty laundry linked to government's land resettlement process, unbeknown to his then political masters, the Landless People's Movement (LPM) was birthed as a vehicle for his political aspirations. Frank Chikane's book 'Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki' gives a riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the removal of Mbeki as the neighbouring country's head of state in September 2008. Chikane is a former director-general in the South African presidency.

    Namibia had a recent lite version of this kind of political intrigue and drama when the then deputy minister of land reform, Bernadus Swartbooi, was booted out of his post in December 2016.

    Unbeknown to the general public, while Swartbooi stayed on as Swapo backbencher, a political vehicle had already been started in the form of the Landless People's Movement (LPM), which Swartbooi took over when he was finally recalled as a Swapo MP in the middle of 2017.

    This movement was later transformed into a political party that will be contesting the 27 November general election, with Swartbooi, the former //Karas governor, as its presidential candidate.

    Nujoma vs Swartbooi

    The tensions between Swartbooi and his then senior in the ministry, Utoni Nujoma, had burst into the public domain at a meeting in Hoachanas, where Swartbooi accused Nujoma of tribal preference when it came to dishing out land under the country's resettlement programme.

    He was subsequently summoned to State House where he was given an ultimatum to apologise or resign from his deputy minister post. Swartbooi refused to budge. In fact President Hage Geingob, recalling the meeting with his once fierce supporter, said the meeting was highly charged.

    “He stormed out of the meeting and even forgot his cellphone behind,” Geingob, who must now face off with his political prodigal son, once said.

    Subsequently, the presidency announced that Geingob had accepted Swartbooi's verbal resignation. In a media release it was announced he would be replaced by Priscilla Boois.

    At the time, the political support Swartbooi enjoys in the south came to the fore. His home region //Karas in particular – where he served as governor under the Pohamba presidency - welcomed him back with song and dance.

    They idolised his bravery and uncompromising stance on land, a means of production wrestled through gunpowder from some of the country's communities, including Swartbooi's own tribe, the Nama.

    That he was prepared to leave a cushy job as both minister and member of parliament only heightened his standing in his community and boosted his stocks as a nonsensical politician.

    During a peaceful demonstration Keetmanshoop residents under the leadership of land activist Paul Thomas handed over a petition directed to the president's office at the office of the governor.

    “Our cultural and traditional values like the graves of our forefathers, and the plants and objects we use for our traditional practices, are rooted on this land, therefore, by settling others on the land, you are eliminating the Nama people from their roots and culture,” the petition read.

    The community further threatened to invade and lock German-owned farms in the south, if government did not urgently address the land concerns raised by Swartbooi.

    By February 2017 the fault lines had clearly been exposed. Swartbooi, now an ordinary Swapo MP, called Nujoma 'an idiot' in the National Assembly.

    What followed was a continual upping of tensions that were becoming untenable.

    In July 2017, Swartbooi was recalled as a Swapo MP.

    Then Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba said the reasons for the recall were evident, as Swartbooi had been inviting it himself through his actions and statements.

    A day later, Swartbooi resigned from the ruling party, which he started labelling an Owambo party.

    “I hereby publicly announce without any fear or contradictions that I proudly, loudly and publicly leave the Ovamboland People's Organisation [OPO]… when you meet me next time, I am neither an honourable nor a comrade. I am, I was, I will be, till death do me part, Bernadus Swartbooi,” he said at media conference.

    “I am free now from OPO - our leaving OPO does not mean when the time comes to represent Namibia, our Owambo people should be left out, they are part of us.”

    Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said this week: “Unfortunately, the LPM, ethnically, does not have strong national make-up because it is a party that's interest-driven, which is the ancestral land issue.”

    He said ancestral land is an issue affecting mainly people in the south, making the party's support-base regionally and tribally orientated.

    “If anything, the party might garner one or two seats in parliament but I don't see anything beyond that two.

    Commenting on the sustained perception that the LPM may make inroads into Swapo's support base in the south and where other likely sources of potential votes may come from, Kamwanyah said: “Most certainly, their votes will come from the south and likely they will take votes from Swapo, the PDM (Popular Democratic Movement) and the UDF (United Democratic Front).

    “Other regions are a tough climb, especially the four-O regions.”

    Asked whether the LPM represents the rise of radicalism and whether it is a one-trick pony, as it arose from the battle over ancestral and other land, Kamwanyah said: “Certainly the party seems to pushing for radical solutions, but that it represents radicalism in this country is still yet to be established.”

    Asked if one its potential Achilles heels is that it is based around the cult of personality that Swartbooi represents, Kamwanyah added: “That's a weakness and a pitfall the LPM party must avoid at all costs. They seem to drift in direction of having politics revolve around individuals.”


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: No sale of SOEs for now
  • No sale of SOEs for nowNo sale of SOEs for now The partial sale of Namibia's state-owned enterprises is not being considered at the moment with the exception of MTC, which is expected to be listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange next year.

    Owing to government's precarious financial state, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste was asked whether there were any plans to raise money by partially disposing of some commercial assets, as was the case with MTC.

    Jooste was of the opinion that certain SOEs are not suitable to be sold, owing to corporate governance concerns at these entities.

    This publication recently did an assessment in which it found that a number of SOEs were without permanent chief executive officers. A number of SOEs also do not publish their annual financial results, a key requirement for listing.

    “You need to be a very healthy, well-governed entity to consider listing, so at the moment there is no candidate for listing. In the long term there may be other candidates that could qualify and that might be viable but in the short-term, there is not anything,” Jooste said.

    To list on the NSX, a company should have a current audited profit of at least N$500 000 annual revenue before taxation and interest. Companies are also required to cede a minimum 20% of the shares to be held by the public while auditor's reports for the previous three years should be available. The said company should also have an acceptable record of business practice and management integrity, according to the NSX. If one had to consider the case of a commercially oriented SOE like the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor)that the government could hypothetically sell, it misses the mark for listing, having failed to submit annual reports for the periods 2017/18 and 2018/19, failing to meet the requirement of submitting three consecutive financial reports. The same can be said for TransNamib that could hypothetically be put up for sale. It is yet to publicly release its annual reports except for the 2018 financial year.

    Namibia Housing Enterprises (NHE) also finds itself missing the mark of having submitted annual reports for three consecutive years.

    Touching on the issue of MTC, Jooste said everything was on track for its successful listing on the local bourse. While the government is expected to hold onto its two-thirds shareholding through Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holding (NPTH), the remaining MTC shares are expected to fall in private hands as a result of the listing.

    “The MTC listing process is on track. It is a very complicated process to meet all the requirements that have been set up by the Namibia Stock Exchange. If all goes according to plan, they will be able to list by the middle of next year … it is completely on track,” he said.

    The mobile operator kicked off its listing process in January when it placed a bid in local media through NPTH. NPTH owns Telecom, MTC and NamPost on the government's behalf.

    Government had first announced the planned listing of MTC in 2016. Government had at one point also flirted with the idea of buying Samba's 34% stake with a loan from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

    IJG Securities and PSG Wealth Management Namibia were announced as joint sponsoring brokers for the listing project in May. MTC executive Tim Ekandjo said the mobile operator expected listing on the NSX by July 2020.


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Itula blasted as 'arrogant'
  • Itula blasted as 'arrogant'Itula blasted as 'arrogant'Accuses Geingob as 'perpetrator of injustice' Panduleni Itula's call on other presidential candidates to withdraw from the race comes as allegations grow that the dentist is being used to resurrect Team Swapo. Independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula's call on other opposition candidates to “pull out” to turn the election into a two-horse race has raised the ire of the other candidates, who have accused him of “arrogance” and “ignorance”.

    Itula last week said in an interview that the other presidential candidates should “pull out and leave the battle” between him and incumbent President Hage Geingob.

    “[Pull out] because I am fighting injustice in Swapo and I am fighting injustice in Namibia and the perpetrator of injustice is the head of state,” Itula said.

    Itula added: “Please pull out and I can tell you that the Namibian people will even give you a vote of sympathy.”

    Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) presidential candidate Mike Kavekotora says the fact that Itula has made such a call casts doubt on how genuine his purported fight against injustice is.

    “If he is saying Swapo is not in favour of the country, why has he [Itula] remained in Swapo all these years? Most liberation movements, when their popularity wanes, come up with strategies like these, like it happened in Zimbabwe, which was not in the interest of Zimbabweans but of Zanu-PF. Itula's candidacy is not for the country but to rescue Team Swapo within Swapo,” Kavekotora said.

    Kavekotora said he and other opposition candidates are politically mature enough to fight their own battles and to “see through Swapo's strategy”.

    McHenry Venaani, the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) presidential candidate, said Itula's argument was “shallow” and “poor”.

    “What he [Itula] is saying is that he cannot pull the masses. It tells a story that he is picking up frustrated Swapo votes.”

    Venaani said the country's socio-economic woes cannot be blamed on Geingob, but instead on systemic corruption within Swapo.

    “We will not entrench a regime that wants to run the cabinet of Geingob,” Venaani said.

    Landless People's Movement (LPM) presidential candidate Bernadus Swartbooi responded by saying: “How can he say he fights injustice if he is not even criticising Swapo? Geingob is not the only corrupt one in Swapo; there is systemic corruption in Swapo.”

    Swartbooi added: “Itula shows ultra-arrogance and displays massive ignorance. A vote for him would be to continue 30 years for the looting machine.”

    Swartbooi said the LPM was doing a “far greater outreach and has strong appeal” among voters, adding: “Why should we stand down and give our votes to Itula?”

    'No force behind me'

    A political pundit preferring anonymity said Itula's candidacy was a “project designed to humiliate” Geingob to avenge those kicked out of ministerial positions by reducing the votes cast for the incumbent.

    “That is a complete insult to my intelligence,” Itula countered in indignation. “Am I such a puppet to be just pulled by strings, a marionette to be told what to do? I think a lot of the public in this country have realised that I have got originality of thought and I have got an understanding of our rules and constitution. No one should entertain the suggestion that I am cannon fodder for some sort of force behind me.”

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    Panga attack should wake nationPanga attack should wake nation Yesterday 26-year-old Sam Nauyoma Petrus appeared in the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court amid extraordinary scenes of his out-of-tune behaviour.

    Petrus is accused of killing all but three members of his family in the wee hours of Monday at Epatululo village in Ohangwena. Those killed with a panga include his own mother and elder brother.

    A niece was also killed, while another girl had her leg amputated by her uncle, who ran amok. A dog and eight goats were also killed. The two kids that survived his wrath ran to a neighbour’s house.

    We are no experts in mental health, but Petrus appeared very unaware of what was happening around him yesterday. The magistrate ordered that he be taken to hospital immediately.

    New Era, quoting the police yesterday, said Petrus is suspected of nursing a rabies infection, which seems to have disorientated his thinking.

    Society often pays no mind to mental health. In fact, those battling it have often become the butt of every joke, with people barely willing to associate themselves with those affected, let alone offering to assist.

    Often than not, the strange behaviour of victims is ignored, sometimes at the peril of those close to them, such as members of Petrus’ family who paid the ultimate price.

    Of course it’s up to experts and the justice system to determine what state of mind Petrus was in at the time of going on his killing spree.

    Last year Jesaya Chuhunda massacred five members of his family at Rundu, after his strange behaviour was reported twice to the local police, with no help forthcoming.

    Police on both occasions ignored the reported behaviour of Chuhunda and did not go to his residence, under the guise of not having transport. Hours later, five people, including defenceless children, were killed.

    Recently, Chuhunda was declared mentally ill and he cannot be held liable for what he did. It’s time the nation and communities started observing such behaviour and attend to those who display it with lightning speed.

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    Bizarre scenes as massacre suspect appearsBizarre scenes as massacre suspect appears Sem Nauyoma Petrus (26), accused of hacking three members of his family to death with a panga on Tuesday morning, appeared before Magistrate Ilge Rheent in the Ohangwena Magistrate's Court yesterday.

    While in the dock, Petrus contorted his body and covered his eyes.

    Rheent postponed the matter to Monday and ordered that Petrus be taken to hospital for a medical examination.

    Prosecutor Elphins Maloboka told the court that Petrus had been scheduled to be taken to the hospital on Wednesday, but he refused to go. According to information obtained by Namibian Sun, Petrus was acting aggressively and requested to be taken to hospital. Once he was removed from the cell he first tried to run away and then refused to go to hospital.

    “I am requesting the accused to be taken to hospital before we proceed with the matter. There is no way I can read him his rights and the counts he is facing while he is in that state. The case has been postponed to Monday,” Rheent said yesterday.

    Petrus is facing three counts of murder, one case of attempted murder and eight counts of malicious damage to property.

    He ran amok at Epatululo village near Onhuno in the Ohangwena Region in the early hours of Tuesday.

    He allegedly murdered his mother, Vilgenia Teofelus (61), his brother Simon Petrus (30), who was trying to rescue his mother, and his one-year-old niece Ndapandula Ndahalaovanhu Hafeni.

    Another child, two-year-old Gift Rejoice Petrus, was grievously wounded when the suspect chopped off her left leg and two fingers of her left hand. She is being treated at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    Not even the family's pets and livestock were spared. Petrus allegedly killed a dog and eight goats with the same panga before following the two surviving children, who had fled to a neighbour's house.

    When the police arrived they found the bodies of the two adult victims lying on the ground within the homestead, while the two children were found in a bedroom.

    According to the police the seriously injured two-year-old girl was taken to the Engela district hospital, from where she was rushed to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital.

    The other two surviving children, aged nine and seven, who escaped death by running to the neighbour's house, are currently in the care of a social worker.

    According to Petrus's sister, Olivia Petrus, he had told them that he had been seeing lots of people surrounding their house since Sunday.


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Not even N$20 for water
  • Not even N$20 for waterNot even N$20 for water Some inhabitants of Omundaungilo in the Ohangwena Region have reverted to using pond water that is unfit for human consumption, claiming that they cannot afford the N$20 monthly contribution to community water points.

    Omundaungilo constituency councillor Festus Ikanda says his office has not yet received complaints about people unable to pay for clean water, but they are aware that there are people using pond water.

    In response to a water crisis in the Ohangwena Region, the Kalahari Ohangwena Aquifer (KOH) research team established that there is fresh water in the Omhalapapa area near the Angolan border, which offers a direct supply without any treatment needed.

    Several water points have been set up supplying Omundaungilo and the surrounding areas with fresh water directly from two boreholes at Omhalapapa.

    According to Ikanda, the water points are being managed by a community water point committee which charges a small fee for maintenance.

    “The government has done its part to supply water to the communities. Community water points are managed by selected community members who form a community water point committee. They decide at their community meetings how they will maintain their water points,” Ikanda said.

    “These boreholes are equipped with pumps that need diesel. The money they pay is mostly for diesel consumption and pump maintenance in case of breakage. At least the community must be able to maintain their boreholes, especially for minor issues,” he said.

    Peinge Kashikuka, 73, says her family still uses pond water because they cannot afford to pay N$20 a month for tap water.

    “We better use water from the ponds because the money we get from the government every month is reserved for other uses. We have no problem with water from the ponds because we have been drinking it long before we got tap water,” Kashikuka says.

    Another resident, Festus Kafiye, says he uses pond water to make homebrew that he sells at his cuca shop.

    “I cannot use the little money I get from my cuca shop to pay for tap water. I use water from the ponds to brew otombo and other beverages at my cuca shop. I've never heard people complaining that my brew is bad due to water,” Kafiye says.

    Namibian Sun could not establish exactly how many households still use pond water, but apparently the majority of them do.

    In some households, tap water is only for drinking, while pond water is used for washing.

    The ponds were dug by the community members before the government started piping clean water to them.


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Power to the people!
  • Power to the people!Power to the people! Women, youth voters have nation’s poll fate in their hands With over 400 000 of the 1.3 million registered voters for the 27 November National Assembly and presidential elections categorised as 'born-frees', and 717 809 registered women voters versus 640 659 men, the youth and women voting blocs will likely decide Namibia's fate at the polls.

    Of those registered, 5 846 are aged 95 and above, while 55 699 are between the ages of 75 and 95. A total of 192 877 registered voters are aged between 55 and 75, while 403 398 are between the ages of 38 and 54. The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) this week released the official list of registered voters, which shows the highest number of registered voters are in the Khomas, Ohangwena and the Omusati regions.

    The lowest registered voters are in Omaheke, Zambezi and Hardap.

    Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said in terms of stronghold politics, these statistics swing the pendulum towards Swapo, as it enjoys a lot of support from the three regions with the highest number of registered voters.

    “That is at the party level. At presidential level it is a different story, because the large number of registered voters in the Khomas and Omusati regions might increase independent candidate Panduleni Itula's chances,” Kamwanyah said.

    “This is for the simple reason that Omusati is widely seen as the epicentre of opposition against President Hage Geingob, whereas the Khomas Region houses a lot of educated voters, who tend to look at everything government does with a critical eye, and are therefore likely not to go for Hage.”

    Kamwanyah added there will be stiff competition from opposition parties as well as the many splinter groups that formed out of the 2017 Swapo elective congress.

    The ECN recorded a total of 1.3 million voters registered, of which 403 106 are born-frees (those born in 1990 and after), while a mere 8 623 are millennials born from 2000 onwards.

    According to Kamwanyah a huge chunk of the youth vote will go to Itula, but whether they turn up at the polls remains to be seen.

    “For the millennials, it is not a surprise that they recorded a low number. This is in line with the world trend that millennials are unreliable when it comes to participating in elections.

    “One might say they are unconcerned with politics, but also because they have different priorities, especially that politics sometimes does not address their needs.”

    Kamwanyah pointed out that the low number of registered voters in the //Karas and Hardap regions is “bad news” for the Landless People's Movement (LPM), whose biggest support comes from landless people and the south of the country.

    “I cannot understand why the numbers are looking like this and where the apathy is coming from. With the land issues and ancestral land demands, one would have thought that a large number of voters would have registered. They would definitely have to work hard to make inroads in other regions,” he said.

    Another political commentator Hoze Riruako said the LPM has the potential to draw support from other regions and sectors of the country.

    “I agree their stronghold is the south, but if you look at their leadership structure, they have tried by all means to be inclusive and to bring in people from the northern parts of the country. So I do not believe they will only canvass in the south. Traditionally the south is not only less populated, but for years people have not been coming out to vote,” he said.

    Swapo tussle

    Riruako also argued that Swapo is doing a shoddy job in distancing itself from Itula, who in his view is taking Namibians for a ride by riding on the Swapo ticket, but ridiculing the party's duly elected presidential candidate.

    Swapo has repeatedly condemned Itula's independent candidacy and accused him of violating the party's constitution, but is yet to haul him before a disciplinary hearing.

    “When you look at Itula as individual he is everything Swapo. He is part and parcel of Swapo. I also do not think the Swapo camps behind Geingob are doing enough to paint a clear picture that there is only one Swapo, which is represented by a president who has been elected by a national congress of Swapo.

    “What he (Itula) is doing now is to campaign with Swapo's shortcomings and Swapo is failing to show the people that he is part of those failures,” Riruako said.

    Omusati factor

    The Omusati Region recorded the third highest number of registered voters at 146 256.

    “Omusati has always been a key factor in Swapo; that is why you have the Omusati clique and you heard about Oshiwambo-speaking meetings.

    “But one of the key players there is (Swapo Oshikoto regional coordinator) Armas Amukwaya, who has pledged his support for Geingob.

    “I do not know how this will play out for Geingob, but Omusati is certainly one of the most important areas.

    “There was also a push for the Ondonga people to consolidate their support, so there are a number of dynamics in this area. How they play out depends on the penetration of the current candidates and their political supporters and wings on the ground,” Riruako said.

    Riruako also said the fact that independent candidate Angelina Immanuel almost overtook Swapo candidate Leonard Negonga in the recent Ondangwa Urban constituency by-election shows how big a factor independent candidature is.



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  • 11/07/19--14:00: You are someone’s type
  • You are someone’s typeYou are someone’s typeNamibia joins BE THE 1 global campaign NAMbts joins hands with Abbott and Cristiano Ronaldo Mariselle Stofberg

    The Namibia Blood Transfusion Service (NAMbts) has joined hands with various other blood services around the world in launching the BE THE 1 campaign.

    This is in partnership with Abbott, an American pharmaceutical and medical services company. This partnership was announced at the annual general meeting of the NAMbts on Thursday, 31 October.

    BE THE 1 is a partnership between Abbott, the football player Cristiano Ronaldo and blood banks around the world.

    “The campaign is raising awareness globally to inspire young people to become regular donors. The BE THE 1 movement puts the power of better health and saving lives into the hands of people around the world through blood donation,” Titus Shivute, the educational officer of NAMbts, said during the meeting.

    Cristiano Ronaldo is the first global ambassador for Abbott’s BE THE 1 movement. Ronaldo has been donating blood since the age of 24 and is encouraging others to join this global movement. NAMbts aims to improve donations in the coming year by 10% at the five fixed donation sites countrywide and increase awareness of the movement on social media.

    “We are hoping to increase blood donation frequency from repeat donors by leveraging on Ronaldo’s social responsibility and commitment towards blood donation. The permanent centres provide a convenience for all donors to help save lives and we are urging all Namibians, especially the youth, to donate more frequently,” said Zita Tobin, the NAMbts manager for donor recruitment and public relations.

    The five blood donation centres are open at the following times:

    · 35 Tal Street centre is open from 07:00 to 16:00 every weekday, and until 18:00 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    · The United House centre in Independence Avenue is open from 08:30 to 16:00 on weekdays.

    · Swakopmund centre in 4 Ferdinand Stich Street is open every Monday from 10:00 to 18:00.

    · Walvis Bay centre behind Welwitschia Medipark is open every Tuesday from 10:00 to 18:00.

    · Oshakati Centre on the Oshakati State Hospital Grounds is open every Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00.

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    Linking lives through serviceLinking lives through serviceLifeLink Emergency Rescue Services goes the extra mile for their patients. Established eight years ago, LifeLink has secured a good reputation among patients and day-to-day clients all over the country. Elizabeth Joseph

    The company’s service has grown tremendously since its inception. They operate out of two different towns with ground ambulances, which are fully equipped for any emergency.

    Currently employing 18 permanent employees, the company plans to expand.

    “Our culture is one of developing our staff to ensure that we provide a world-class level of service to all our patients. We aim to be the leading ambulance and evacuation company in Namibia, driven by innovation and honest core values,” says Brian Low, managing director and chief ambulance officer.

    LifeLink stays true to its values of bringing only the best to their patients by being the only company that operates a Namibian-based, doctor-led air ambulance service which covers Namibia and most of Southern Africa.

    At this point in time, the company has not established a budget for Corporate Social Responsibility, but it does provide free calls to vulnerable people, mainly in Henties Bay, who cannot afford ambulance services. At Henties Bay, there is no state or municipal ambulance and LifeLink provides emergency services to all that require it. They also offer training and development for incoming paramedics.

    Winston S. Churchill said that “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." And according to Low, LifeLink measures its success around the service provided to the patient.

    “We measure success in terms of providing client-centred services to emergency, inter-facility transfer and international patients. We use two main metrics – increase in call volumes and number of complaints.

    “In this respect, call volumes have continued to climb steadily whilst complaints received amount to less than one per six-month period,” he says.

    Community based activities

    LifeLink provides full emergency services within Henties Bay, regardless of medical aid or ability to pay. They cover approximately 45 calls per month (N$170 000 worth of calls based on NAMAF tariffs).

    This doctor-led service has established itself as a respectable service provider with many international insurers relying on them to transfer patients all over the world.

    The company has taken patients back to their home countries, including Australia, the UK, China, Belgium, USA, Italy and Germany.

    Their goals include ensuring that their clients are provided with cost-effective and patient-centric service with standards that rival those in developed countries.

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Painting the bigger picture
  • Painting the bigger picturePainting the bigger picture Sam Januarie is a strategic thinker who is conscious about his surroundings. Evany van Wyk

    The possibility of making a positive impact or change in someone’s life is usually the reason that helps Sam Januarie get up in the morning. From that point, he goes on to fill his position as human resource consultant at Easy HR consulting. He is one of the founders of Easy HR and has been part of the business since 2006.

    Januarie specialises in labour and employment relations and regularly assists companies in various industries with human resource management related challenges. Januarie was locked out of his initial career of choice as he did not have the right subjects to enrol for an engineering qualification due to insufficient career guidance.

    When one door closes, another opens, however, as this opened Januarie to a world of opportunity in the human resources field, which he is now thriving in.

    “Having achieved what could be achieved in my career as an HR professional I am now preparing to venture into more generalist business management,” he says.

    Januarie has two major qualifications under his belt, namely a postgraduate degree in labour law from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a postgraduate diploma in advance project management from the University of South Africa (UNISA). He is currently studying towards an executive master’s in business administration (EMBA) at UCT.

    Young people often end up studying in a field that they have no passion for, Januarie says. “If you do not have a passion for what you are studying then how content or happy you will be in your profession will definitely be negative.”

    Januarie’s job is one that enables him to frequently meet people from various backgrounds. According to him, the reasons people cross his path might not always be pleasant, especially if it results in impacting the person’s life or someone losing their work. “In the end you do your job.”

    Seeing the positive and constructive results in his advice to companies and getting to mentor youngsters who wish to enter the HR field are his favourite parts of the job. “I just wish to have a positive impact on their careers,” he said.

    Januarie has accomplished quite a number of things in his career, including being in charge of signing a three-year wage agreement for Dundee Precious Metals, the first of its kind in Namibia. He is not only an honorary member of the Institute of People Management in Namibia but also formerly served as the institute’s president.

    “Internationally, I had the distinct opportunity to represent Namibia in various forums such as the International Labour Organisation, African Union and SADC as an employers’ representative,” Januarie says.

    It is evident that positive change and being aware of what goes on around him are of vital importance to Januarie, who says he always keeps abreast of new developments in the HR and labour law field.

    V1- Sam Januarie is an HR consultant who specialises in labour and employment relations.

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Dynamo with a human touch
  • Dynamo with a human touch Dynamo with a human touch Billing a better future Entering into the legal corporate world with a mind-set of learn, fail, learn some more and excel, buccaneer Emma Theofelus flourishes one step closer to becoming a human rights lawyer. Justicia Shipena

    Emma Theofelus was recently appointed as a legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation at the ministry of justice.

    Her job entails monitoring the implementation of human rights laws in Namibia. She is also responsible for processing extradition requests from other countries and facilitates requests for maintenance issues.

    Theofelus was born in Windhoek and attended People’s Primary School and later Khomas High School.

    Speaking to Careers Theofelus said she wanted to become a paediatrician when she was younger.

    “I loved children and I still do. I wanted to save their lives. Aside from that, as a child, I always had an inclination to speak out about something if I didn’t agree with it or if I didn’t think it was right. That led to people asking me to raise issues on their behalf and that is how I discovered that I could speak on behalf of those that are voiceless or didn’t know how to.”

    Theofelus applied for the position of legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation as she believed it was the first step of many in realising her dream of becoming a human rights lawyer with a touch of diplomacy.

    “The biggest challenge so far is the preparation of human rights reports. Namibia is exemplary in safeguarding human rights and the international community need not be convinced because it is well known,” says Theofelus.

    She adds that the challenge is that as a nation, Namibia is not very good at capturing data and monitoring progress and therefore it becomes a bit difficult to report on Namibia’s remarkable progress.

    Theofelus says she enjoys her work as it allows her to think independently and use her innovative thinking to solve problems.

    She further believes that in any work environment it is essential to remember that one is not an island. In most cases one is required to work with a group of people who have different expectations of things and ways of doing things. Therefore, she believes one needs to acquire interpersonal skills to work efficiently and resolve conflicts in a professional manner.

    The best piece of advice she has ever received was, “No matter what you’re going through, just keep moving.”

    Apart from her work she is passionate about youth development and gender equality, which is why she volunteers in her community.

    Her future plans are to become an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and acquire a couple of master’s degrees before the age of 30.

    Caption 1-

    Emma Theofelus, legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation at the ministry of justice. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

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    Joleen Mans – a businesswoman with a heart of goldJoleen Mans – a businesswoman with a heart of gold Elizabeth Joseph

    With a business administration qualification and various insurance industry qualifications, Joleen Mans is on her way to making a great name for herself.

    “I started as a secretary with Alexander Forbes in 1999 and went through the ranks in the consulting department from an assistant consultant to a senior consultant with my own client portfolio.

    “Now I am heading up the consulting department with a team of 11 consultants,” she says.

    Her job is to be the face of Alexander Forbes.

    “We are responsible for the relationship with our clients.” The main focus of their consulting approach is to:

    · look at employee benefit (EB) arrangements holistically to provide integrated solutions to clients through ideal insurance arrangements;

    · review investment portfolios in terms of the retirement fund’s investment philosophy; and

    · help create the right investment portfolios at the right time.

    Mans says they also provide appropriate support, education and advice to members. Her team addresses similarities or gaps within EB arrangements for employers.

    “We have to consult our clients on any legislative matters and be informed of all statutory requirements affecting the industry.

    “From day to day we prepare and undertake trustee and management committee meetings and assist our clients as mentioned earlier,” she adds.

    Mans is excited and enthusiastic about what she does and wants to inspire her colleagues to love being a part of this specialised environment.

    The initial plan

    After school, Mans studied towards a diploma in nature conservation, but later realised that her love for nature does not necessarily mean that she has to pursue it as a career.

    “I wanted to go corporate and went straight into the job market. For four years I was an office assistant at an insurance company, Southern Life, and when the company withdrew from Namibia I started my career with Alexander Forbes.

    Although her work requires long hours and much dedication, she says that during her journey with the company she has learnt about respect, trust and teamwork. She also says that relationships are key.

    The future

    Mans’s passion and tenacity speaks for itself. She says she wants to be part of the legacy of Alexander Forbes that is trusted to be the preferred service provider for employers’ EB arrangements in Namibia.

    Her advice to young people in Namibia and everywhere else: “Commitment to hard work is important. Learn to love what you are doing and hold yourself accountable for your actions; don’t let others do it for you.”


    · I’m a bit obsessive about organising

    · I talk too fast

    · I am empathetic towards others’ feelings

    · I am an early bird – I can’t sleep in

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: A musician at heart
  • A musician at heart A musician at heart Ruan Greeff, a Nambian jewel John Rock Prophet plans to move to Germany in 2020 Evany van Wyk

    Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know him by his stage name, draws his inspiration from.

    This musical genius was born and bred in Windhoek. When Greeff finished high school, he went on to study towards a bachelor’s degree in psychology because he wanted to become a forensic psychologist. His love for music was stronger, however, and he followed his heart and decided to make music instead. He says he always wanted to make music but he was scared that people might not listen.

    “I found out that they do listen and it’s an honour and a pleasure that that is the case,” he said.

    Greeff remains a Namibian resident, but travels to South Africa and Germany for long stretches at a time.

    “It has been easy adapting in the new countries because I know that I am coming back to the beautiful and diverse Namibia,” he says.

    Motivation for his music and in life has always come easy, as anything out of the ordinary helps to bring perspective to his everyday life. He says that it’s not only one thing but a series of experiences or stories that he can use as a basis for a new song.

    “You never know when creativity will strike or what its source will be,” he explains.

    A humble heart, Greeff says that his accomplishments are few, but the challenges he encountered are quite a lot. Learning to deal with disappointments is one of those challenges he had to overcome. Greeff believes that even if you feel your music is good, you should work as though it’s not. The road to success is never a straight line and you’ll always have to regroup, rethink and re-apply yourself.

    “You have never really "made it" you are simply always making it. It’s very humbling, but also fuels my drive,” Greeff says.

    The music industry has changed a lot and nowadays it’s all about streaming. Greeff says that making and selling albums are dying and the music business is not for the lazy and faint-hearted.

    Greeff admits that his parents were not too happy about him becoming a musician but that they could see how much he loved it

    The standard of living for musicians is always questioned but making money as an entertainer is not impossible. In 2020 Greeff has plans of moving to Germany, but will continue making music in Namibia, South Africa and possibly Europe.

    “Lastly, to all the aspiring musicians, work very hard and a little smart and most of all, be careful who you take advice from,” he advises.

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Food for thought
  • Food for thoughtFood for thoughtIf food is the answer, what is the question? Konrad Jetschko, the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia, loves food and the cultural experiences it offers. Mariselle Stofberg

    An Irish proverb says that laughter is brightest in the place where there is food and Konrad Jetschko’s passion for food ignites his soul.

    If you love what you do, they say you will never work a day in your life, and this captures the essence of this passionate and driven chef that has cooked around the world and celebrated numerous dishes and cuisines.

    Once he matriculated, he was accepted at the Silwood Kitchen Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Cape Town.

    At the end of his studies there, he was lucky again to be accepted as an apprentice under a brilliant Austrian chef named Thomas Sinn.

    “I then quickly worked my way up to senior sous chef at his prestigious Blue Danube restaurant. From there I had a liking for the trendy tapas, cocktail bars and restaurants popping up in Cape Town and then found myself opening and co-managing the amazing Asoka, Son of Dharma cocktail bar and restaurant.”

    Another great opportunity came and Jetschko accepted the offer to be the chef on a classic super yacht named My Istros, cruising the Mediterranean and making frequent visits to Mykonos, San Tropez and Dubrovnik.

    “I am very close to my family, so I then decided that I have had enough of the ‘livin’ la vida loca’, as many Namibians do. I then decided to come back home to our lovely country. Since then I have worked as a chef on a few lodges until I recently joined the O&L Pick n Pay team.”

    Konrad Jetschko is the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia. Working as a catering coordinator is quite similar to working in restaurants and hotels and Jetschko believes that is the reason he enjoys it so much. His team caters for various functions like year-end functions, weddings, platters for meetings and do food stalls as well.

    “We are quite famous for our spit braais that we prepare at your venue. I get to work with food and people and that’s my passion. Almost every function or event we do is quite unique, so no boring desk job for me. And I have a brilliant management and staff team,” Jetschko says.

    “I have enjoyed every second on this journey and I am continuously challenged to perform my outmost best.”

    Jetschko has first-hand experience in the challenging environment of catering. “The hospitality, and as I have recently learned the retail industry as well, is quite demanding and challenging at times, but when things come together, the rewards, both personal and professional, are immense.”

    Jetschko has had some great successes with projects they undertook the past year, and believes the greatest feeling is to be commended and rewarded so much by O&L, which makes all the sacrifice and hard work all the more worthwhile.

    “To form part of such a well-established group of companies is just a massive privilege. The culture and values within the group have become a way of living and place where I feel I belong.”

    Food is a daily inspiration for Jetschko, and he finds the culinary art very romantic and inspiring. “All my after-work hobbies also include some aspect of food.”

    Even though Jetschko has prepared numerous complicated and sophisticated meals, he still values the simple things in life. “Even chefs enjoy simple food like spaghetti Bolognese or fish spread on toast.”

    For Jetschko, food is an intricate part of his life. “Food is like music and it can tame even the most savage beast,” Jetschko jokingly added.

    “My motto I live by every day is simple: Just keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”


    Photo 1: Konrad Jetschko is the catering coordinator at Pick n Pay Namibia.

    Photo 2: Even though Jetschko has prepared numerous complicated and sophisticated meals, he still values the simple things in life.


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  • 11/07/19--14:00: We need to embrace the Cloud
  • We need to embrace the CloudWe need to embrace the Cloud Syed Asad Abbas

    There’s a lot of hype about the Cloud, however what comes to mind when you hear that your software will sit in the cloud? It sounds positively intangible and like a cloud it can fall apart anytime. Making it seem like something you have no control over, it may just disappear like smoke. Many people think this, but it is misconception. The ITC industry should have used another word to describe it, as the name Cloud certainly creates misunderstandings. The intangible nature of clouds created a negative perception when it came to Cloud technology, however the name stuck and we’ve been playing catch-up as a sector ever since.

    The Cloud is actually a set of technologies which are rented out to multiple tenants, anywhere in the world and at a low cost. It is hosted by a company which specialises in hosting, managing and delivering the technologies. This keeps it operational 24/7 and 365 days a year. Some servers use computing power to run applications or "deliver a service”. Almost everyone that uses any form of tech already uses Cloud services, often without knowing it. If you use any services of Google or Apple, you are using and accessing Cloud technology.

    Cloud as we know it is not something new, it existed as far back as the first industrial revolution. Cloud was there when people started depositing their money in a bank instead of their personal vaults. Money is valued above all else, and yet we don't even know where exactly our money is stored, we just access it via an ATM, online, or via a speed point. When it comes to selecting a cloud-based solution, more often than not we think about where our data will be stored, but actually what's important is who will have access to our data. Will it be available to us whenever we need it? So it does not matter where our data sits, what matters is how secure the accessibility is and how durable the service availability will be.

    Next time when you are offered a solution which sits in the Cloud, think about the more important factors, i.e. security and availability. Whether it is a software application, data that needs to be stored or software programmes, it’s all possible and at the organisation’s fingertips with the Cloud. The services are available anywhere and anytime through any enabled devices and are totally secure and with an exponentially increased efficiency. Most organisations and companies across the globe have already completely embraced secure cloud service based solutions.

    Cloud-based solutions and Software as a Service are almost without exception part of every country’s overall development plan in terms of public service infrastructure, economic outlook and investment environment. Developing ICT infrastructure in both the public and private sectors.

    If we do nothing as Namibia, but just stand by and watch this new revolution pass us by, it will cause long-term damage and will create an unbridgeable digital divide compared to other nations which are adapting to this trend proactively. It really makes sense for every business and organisation to use Cloud services. So what do we do? There’s no need to be cautious or doubtful regarding Cloud technology, the tech is proven. We need to adopt and embrace strategies which enable us to utilise cloud computing and deliver effective and efficient e-governance and Cloud services and software to companies and organisations, no matter their size.


    Syed Asad Abbas is the Head of Division for Software Services. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

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  • 11/07/19--14:00: Caring CAN change a life
  • Caring CAN change a lifeCaring CAN change a lifeRolf Hansen and the stages of building a better Namibia Making kindness, mindfulness and passion for hard work an everyday thing. Evany van Wyk

    In June 2015, Rolf Hansen was appointed as the third chief executive officer of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) since its inception in 1968. Hansen was only 30 years old at the time and says stepping into this position has been the most life-enriching experience he has ever had.

    Five years later he says he thought he would be the one adding value to CAN, but instead it has added value to his life.

    Hansen was born in Swakopmund and completed high school at Windhoek High School in the capital. He went on to pursue a bachelor’s of commerce degree in marketing at the University of South Africa while working in the media industry. Working at Republikein, and then embarking on his solo journey of becoming an entrepreneur, Hansen was quite the busy man.

    “Wanting to gain more knowledge about ‘what is truly out there’, I started a business in the tourism and hospitality industry,” says Hansen.

    IN 2015, he decided that it was time for a career change and by sheer coincidence saw the position of CEO for CAN advertised.

    “At that point in my life I wanted to move into a stage where meaning and value addition to others and myself was my main aim,” he says.

    He has subsequently completed a master’s course in cancer control and implementation, training in epidemiology, and is currently serving as both CEO of CAN and as the national director of the Namibia National Cancer Registry.

    Management of CAN’s national activities, administration and patient support programmes are only a few of his many responsibilities.

    “To keep our operations ongoing means that we need to raise funds, have a business model, a sustainable welfare arm and deal with legislation and policy development to the benefit of Namibians diagnosed with cancer,” Hansen explains. The National Cancer Registry also falls directly under his duties and responsibilities.

    Hansen says because people tend to ignore cancer, getting the message of awareness and early detection across becomes a big challenge. “Uninformed people make our jobs tough. People tend to bad-mouth CAN’s efforts without knowing what we do, the services we provide or the help we extend.”

    His love for the job overshadows the challenges faced. Hearing from a patient who beat cancer and being on that journey with them is emotionally taxing but also a humbling experience, according to him. “You have the realisation every day that life is precious,” Hansen says.

    This year has been challenging for many, including CAN. As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the association tries to support the ministry of health and social services’ efforts to improve the support to cancer patients in Namibia. “Fortunately our footprint has expanded yet again, while we have joined forces with ministerial teams to draft national policies that will enhance care for cancer patients in future,” says Hansen about how the year has been so far and the way forward.

    Hansen believes that a person is never too old to learn and that keeping your feet on the ground, your head cool and your heart warm is all that matters.


    Picture1- Rolf Hansen at the recent World Cancer Leaders Summit in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, where challenges in global access to cancer care was discussed by NGOs and possible strategies to overcome these challenges were focused on.

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    Voters in New York raise concernVoters in New York raise concernFeel ‘betrayed, cheated’ The Namibian mission to the United Nations has rejected allegations of ballot tampering in New York. CATHERINE SASMAN

    Some of the 54 Namibians living in the United States who voted in the special election on 13 November have expressed “dismay and disappointment” with the way the vote was conducted by officials attached to the Namibian mission to the United Nations.

    Writing on behalf of other Namibians, Tami Campbell listed these concerns in a letter to Neville Gertze, Namibia’s ambassador to the United Nations.

    The first concern was that voters had to mark ballot papers with a pencil, which raised suspicion that the ballots could be tampered with.

    Campbell said when they asked officials why they had to use pencils, the officials “dismissively” stated that it was in line with SADC protocols on elections.

    A second concern was that the permanent mission counted the 54 ballots in a “secret room somewhere in the building” while about 15 of the voters were waiting for the results.

    “We thought that ballot counting would be conducted in a transparent way for all to see, thus ensuring integrity,” Campbell wrote.

    Also suspicious, she said, was the fact that the counting took “unusually long” – two hours – before the results were announced.

    Campbell and the group of 15 who had waited for the results said they did not trust the results posted outside the UN mission because, after comparing notes, they established that none of them had voted for President Hage Geingob.

    According to the results Geingob received 24 votes, independent presidential candidate Dr Panduleni Itula 15, and Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani 12. Nudo’s Esther Muinjangue garnered two votes and Swanu’s Tangeni Iijambo only one.

    Campbell said they felt “betrayed and cheated”.

    “In drafting this letter, we have spoken to a dozen other Namibians who voted in New York City that day and they are all shocked by the results showing Dr Geingob winning the majority of the votes,” Campbell wrote.

    Gertze confirmed having received the letter and tersely commented that it appeared to have been written on his behalf too, since he was one of the 54 people who had voted at the permanent mission.

    “I can simply say that a number of voters have since written to me to disassociate themselves from the letter as they were not consulted on the drafting of the letter,” Gertze wrote in response.

    He said those who distanced themselves from the letter had taken issue with the “blatant misrepresentation and false allegations” it contained.

    Gertze said it was “a mystery” why the letter was addressed to him, since neither he nor the mission conducted the election.

    “The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) conducted the election and two staff members of the mission served the ECN in their personal capacity during the elections, which Gertze said they did in strict compliance with the rules and procedures of the ECN.

    “My only observation is that political parties could have been approached by their supporters to ensure that they were registered to observe the elections in foreign missions as well. Had they done so, they would have seen for themselves that the election officials had done nothing, and I repeat nothing, outside the strict rules, regulations and procedures of the ECN,” Gertze said.

    He added: “The fact of the matter is that the results posted by the polling station in New York truly and accurately reflect the will and choice of the voters who exercised their democratic rights on that day.”

    The head of the ECN, Theo Mujoro, said voting at foreign missions was done on manual ballot papers, marked in pencil, in exactly the same way it had been done in all elections before the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 2014.

    This was done because it would have been a “logistical nightmare” to transport the EVMs to foreign missions, he said.

    He said it would be close to impossible to verify who had voted for whom, despite what people said.

    Mujoro said he had asked the returning officer to get a full report from the presiding officer at the New York polling station on what had happened there. The ECN was still waiting for the report, he said.

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