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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 03/02/17--14:00: NAMA nominees to be revealed
  • NAMA nominees to be revealedNAMA nominees to be revealedArtists invited to the big announcement on 15 March After months of anxious nerves and eager anticipation, the wait for who made it into the nominees list for the 2017 Namibian Annual Music Awards will finally be revealed. The announcement of 2017 Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMA) nominees will be made on 15 March at Nice Restaurant in Windhoek starting at 17:00, with a live broadcast on NBC 1 starting at 18:00.

    The announcement follows after an intense and vigorous vetting and judging process by an independent steering committee and judging panel, consisting of both local and international individuals. They had to sift through a maze of 865 entries received from all around the country since 2 December last year. “So much has taken place behind the scenes since we called for entries in October 2016. We received a record number of 865 entries for this year's awards, which not only demonstrates the growing interest, but also the endeared respect that the music industry has for the NAMA platform and its consistent governance procedures,” enthused executive chairperson of the NAMAs, Tim Ekandjo.

    NBC's chief commercial officer Umbi Karauihe-Upi on her part stated that the preparations for the main event are well underway and reaching the point of announcing the nominees means we are getting closer to the big day. She added that the NBC as a public broadcaster with a mandate to provide a wide and varied scope of content, is once again ready to showcase to the viewing public, a world-class event on 28 and 29 April. “But for now our energy and focus is all geared towards putting together an exceptional nominee announcement event,” she said.

    Owing to space constraints at the venue, only sponsors, invited dignitaries, media and a limited number of artists will be invited to the nominee reveal. Artists are therefore encouraged to tune into NBC 1 to watch the event live.

    The NAMA organising committee also wishes to do a call on all the invited artists to please attend the event unaccompanied to ensure space for other guests as well. The Namibian Annual Music Awards has been scheduled to take place on 28 (industry awards) and 29 (main awards) April 2017. An announcement of the venue will be done in due course.

    Staff Reporter

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  • 03/02/17--14:00: Emancipation
  • EmancipationEmancipationAfricans telling African tales through arts tjil sat down with dainty author Pauline Moses in an interview as she spoke about her journey as an author, her latest work and being an author in Namibia. Here are her views. Born and raised in the dusty streets of Katutura, Paulina Moses takes her readers on a mental journey of freeing her mind from oppression in her first, and very opinionated, book titled 'Journey to Emancipation'. She considers herself as one with respect for nature and humanity and believes the world can only be changed if we invest in being decent human beings.

    tjil (T): Whilst growing up, did you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

    Paulina (P): I grew up in the era when libraries were popular, that alone influenced me to read and my love of books grew. I did not at all have a favourite author; I just read any book that was appealing to me.

    T: What book or books have had a strong influence on you and your writing?

    P: My writing has not been influenced by any external body, but while I was writing this book, I also read Assata Shakur's autobiography, and should I write a second book, my influence will derive from her writing.

    T: Do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing this book?

    P: I have unintentionally learned so many things in life and the day I said, “That is nonsense” is the day my journey to mental freedom began. I wrote this book for my future self. This book is my diary, my retrospection, my therapy and my promise for a better day for the African continent. I came to a point in life where I questioned myself. I disconnected from what the world wanted and focused on what I desired.

    T: Let's talk about Journey to Emancipation, without giving much away, how you would tell someone what it is about? Why that title?

    P: The title is self-explanatory. I am on a journey to emancipation - mental emancipation.

    This book is a non-fiction tale about an African woman who is on a journey of remembering who she was before the world told her who she should be. I reflect on how the world forced me to forget my African identity by forcing me to assimilate into a world that has become too small for individualism.

    T: There are ten chapters, which one is close to your heart and why?

    P: The chapter on African Independence. This chapter outlines the need for us Africans to unite, the need for us to embrace one another as a single unit. While we strive to free ourselves from economic oppression we should be attentive to comprehend how we will achieve that. It is of no use to breed entrepreneurs who are greedy and hungry for quick cash, in turn damaging the community instead of building it. It is of no use to become producers of consumer goods when we as Africans have not mentally freed ourselves from the oppression of thinking being black is a setback, because the black consumers will opt to shop from a non-black. We need slave insurrection to triumph autonomously.

    T: What does being African mean to you?

    P: Being African is who I am. Being African is how I identify myself. Being African is loving myself as an African, being at peace with our flaws, but praising our prominence simultaneously.

    The war for independence of the African people is far from over. The freedom we now enjoy is but a small fraction of what freedom really is. Freedom of the mind is greater than freedom from chains.

    T: What is the message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

    P: Each and every one of us would have to embark on a journey of retrospective, because as the African proverb states, “look not where you fell, but where you slipped”.

    It is hard to change the world or face the future when you do not understand who you are or how you acquired your character.

    T: How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in creative writing in Namibia?

    P: If I am to give my opinion without judgement, I would say that art in Namibia is still undervalued, only but a small percentage are able reap the benefits. It is however encouraging to know that we have recognised the need to support our own. I am just not sure if support is monetary or simply exaggerated social media shout-outs. But never underestimate what a talented, passionate and visionary person can accomplish.

    T: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

    P: I would do my own editing. But the way the arts fraternity works, every piece of writing requires an editor, no matter how good the writer may be. Apart from that, I am very proud of the book in its entirety. It is an honest and concrete reflection of my being and I would not change a word.

    T: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

    P: Reviews from journalists are very important. Sometimes a review is truthful, sometimes it is a good lie and at other times simple an echo of how the reviewer woke up that morning. Take a bad review as critism for improvement; if you do not listen to bad critism, you are only setting yourself up for failure. But also take a good review in the same light. Do not be consumed with how good people say you are, because only those who are hungry for improvement or those eager for climbing the next ladder, excel.

    T: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

    P: The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth. This book was published in 1979 and I read it decades later as a teenager.

    The author combined fact with fiction in such a captivating manner. I am one with a great interest in spies, military and to some extent conspiracy.

    This is the book that first sparked my interest in writing, to an extent that during my teenage years, I wrote an action fiction novel, but it is yet to see the publishers.

    T: What advice would you give to a young novelist that you wish someone would have given you?

    P: Save your work everywhere you can. I lost my USB at some point and had to start all over again.

    T: How can someone get hold of your book and how much is it?

    P: The book is only N$150.

    Please follow the page on Instagram @journey_to_emancipation for orders via Direct Messaging or email at soljett@gmail.com.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 03/02/17--14:00: Hat trick for GMP
  • Hat trick for GMPHat trick for GMPPumumu album now available in Musica GMP's artist Gazza aims for golden results as he becomes the first Namibian artist to sell his music in Musica. The Pumumu album has made history in the Namibian music industry when it became the most-sold album at both South African owned Musica stores at the Grove Mall and Wernhil Park for the year with total sales of 86 purchases under an hour. This happened when GMP founder and artist Gazza, signed under Universal. He said it was a bit of a shock at how the first-day sales went given the fact that the album hit the shelves three months late.

    Many have local producers have tried in the past to get local music sold in Musica with the question 'why are they in the country yet they don't have a local music shelf' in mind but did not succeed. Gazza said he had tried the route of approaching Musica and he succeeded although it was a struggle. “One has to be under a registered company that pays its tax in order to be approved. I also had to approach them myself so I flew to the head office and I needed strong connections to back me up. I was eventually accepted after a month of meetings and they were waiting for me to deliver a project,” he said.

    Gazza said he has signed a worldwide trade deal with Universal which means that his music will literally be sold everywhere. He added that the deal does not only benefit him but all artists signed under GMP. “GMP is licensed under Universal which means everyone is entitled to the same distribution. If you think your music is hot and the locals agree with it then bring it to GMP to get the same benefits of distribution just under a month,” said Gazza. The majority of the GMP artists will soon have released material ready to hit music stores, including Musica.

    Gazza says he will be distributing locally still as it is how he started and it will surely be how he ends. He said his stock is currently done and he has ordered more which will arrive soon for distribution at Namibian music outlets. Asked on how copyright could affect his sales, Gazza says it's unfortunately an issue that cannot be easily solved. “I have little or no control over juke boxes, however one can gain control but it will take time and that is the time I don't have. Nascam must just do its job,” he says.

    Gazza thanked his fans for the continuous support and faith they have in him as always. The album is available for N$120 at all Musica outlets countrywide.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 03/02/17--14:00: For the love of moola
  • For the love of moola For the love of moola I'm one person that would rarely do something from which I don't benefit. Whether it's getting money for it or recognition from it, and unfortunately that's a mentality that I have. But I do mostly for money because it brings a lot of happiness in life.

    I’ve also realised that a lot of people in the entertainment industry have a tendency of putting money first before their talent, and it is not a wise decision especially if one is just starting their career.

    There is a reason for everything and most importantly there is a reason, a good one for that matter, why they say money is the root of all evil. Once you get a taste of it you will not want to go back. It can give you a big head and immediately you forget where you are going and where you came from. I'm not saying one shouldn't enjoy their fruits of their hard work but it's good that one develops a strategy.

    The one thing that people in entertainment industry forget is that it's such an interesting job because you never know when you get paid. One simply brings their talent to the table and hopes that they get a gig. Many gigs pay very well too and it's wise for one to invest or save instead of buying a flashy car that might have to be taken away within the next few months, or buying drinks and making irrelevant people happy at that particular time who won't be in your life when the bar-hopping is done. In other words, don’t get caught up in the excitement because the unfortunate part of selling art is that one constantly has to have something new or they become irrelevant. There is always new talent coming out. Passop.

    One has to be committed and understand what it means to have a job as an entertainer. It is like a business and you are the sole owner - what you put in is what you get out. One must find value in their work for it to found valuable by their audience. It’s also not expected of us to be able to master all of these things by ourselves and that is why hiring someone to do it on your behalf is normal. An artist cannot be expected to do music, book gigs, sit down and invest their money, style themselves and so on and so forth. Of course, to get quality work you need to spend a little but at the end it pays off greatly.

    One shouldn’t feel the need to go through all of this alone and communication can save both time and money. Money is indeed the root of all evil but once you learn how to control it, it can be a source of great power.

    June Shimuoshili


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    Liberty drags down Standard Bank's profitsLiberty drags down Standard Bank's profits BUSINESS DAY

    Poor performance from Standard Bank’s 55% owned insurer Liberty and tripling of head office costs dragged the group’s overall profit down despite solid results from its banking divisions.

    Liberty’s contribution to Standard Bank’s total revenue declined 11% and its contribution to profit by 60%, slowing the group’s overall revenue growth to 5% while its profit declined 9%, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

    Standard Bank’s results for the year to end-December released yesterday showed its personal and business banking division grew revenue 11% to N$67.5 billion and profit 17% to N$12.5 billion. Its personal and business banking division contributed both 56% of the group’s overall N$121 billion revenue and of its N$22 billion profit.

    Its corporate and investment banking arm grew revenue 12% to N$35 billion and profit 21% to N$10.5bn. Corporate and investment banking contributed 29% of the group’s revenue and 47% of its profit.

    What Standard Bank calls its "central and other" division reduced revenue by nearly R3bn, more than three times the previous year’s R912 million, and reduced profit by N$1.7 billion after contributing N$2.6 billion in 2015.

    The previous year’s profit came from the disposal of Standard Bank’s Brazilian and UK operations, the company said in its results statement.

    Liberty contributed 18% of the group’s revenue, down from 21% in 2015, and 4% of the group’s profit, down from 10% the previous year.

    Standard Bank declared a final dividend of N$4.40, taking its total for 2016 to N$7.80, a 16% increase on the previous year’s N$6.74.

    The group managed to improve its credit-loss ratio slightly to 0.86% from 0.87% in the year-earlier period.

    The South African bank was a victim of crime in Japan whereby its cards were used to draw cash fraudulently from automated teller machines. Standard Bank’s results said this cost it about R300m directly, but it also had to invest heavily in software to improve its security.

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    Investigation into Kuga fires launchedInvestigation into Kuga fires launchedSun refuses to set on Kuga incidents South Africa's National Consumer Commission has received 130 complaints about the fire-prone Ford model since December. The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has instituted an investigation into the activities of Ford Motor Company Southern Africa and its dealerships, for alleged prohibited conduct.

    Speaking in the wake of the recent Ford Kuga 1.6 Eco Boost recall, NCC commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed said his investigators yesterday served Ford Motor Company with an investigation certificate and letter.

    “I can confirm that the NCC has instituted an investigation into the activities of Ford SA and its dealerships after receiving complaints alleging prohibited conduct.

    “I further confirm that the NCC has duly notified Ford SA of this enforcement activity,” said Mohamed.

    He said the NCC had received more than 130 complaints against Ford SA relating to various issues, including the combusting of Kuga vehicles, since December last year. He said complaints against Ford SA continued to be lodged with the NCC daily.

    “The NCC views allegations of prohibited conduct in a very serious light. We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to get to the bottom of the issues that have been raised by consumers.”

    “We have received Ford SA's investigation report, and together with the allegations that have been made by consumers, decided to investigate the matter. “We plead with affected consumers to allow us the necessary space and time to thoroughly deal with the matter.

    “A consumer rights violation is tantamount to a human rights violation. It is by no coincidence that the rights in the CPA are somewhat similar to those enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our constitution,” he said.

    NCC spokesperson Trevor Hattingh said once the investigation had been completed, the commission would make a recommendation to the Consumer Tribunal.

    They can recommend that Ford pay an administrative levy not exceeding 10% of its annual turnover. Unless there is a settlement, the tribunal will hold a hearing during which the commission and Ford will both have an opportunity to state their case, after which the tribunal will make a ruling.

    Renisha Jimmy, sister of Reshall Jimmy who burnt to death in his Ford Kuga in December 2015, welcomed the investigation. She has been coordinating complaints by Kuga victims to the NCC.

    Jimmy expressed her full confidence in the NCC and said the decision to launch a full investigation corroborated everything the family and other victims had been saying about Ford.

    “The fact that the commission has decided to launch an investigation speaks for itself,” she said.

    She said the family hoped that during the investigation special priority would be given to her brother's case.


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    Lockout at Namibia Press and ToolsLockout at Namibia Press and Tools The management of Namibia Press and Tools (NPT) at Walvis Bay on Monday implemented a lockout after an unresolved wage dispute.

    NPT manufactures spare parts for Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen for export to Germany.

    A lockout means the employer stops the employees from working days before a strike, presumably in an effort to have them agree to the company's offer or to prevent the strike.

    The lockout was announced in advance of a strike scheduled for 6 March by 17 employees affiliated to the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu).

    Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Manwu's Walvis Bay branch organiser, John Hinyekwa, said the strike would go ahead despite the lockout.

    He said the union and company could not reach agreement on salary and housing allowance increases.

    Hinyekwa said the workers had demanded an increase of N$1.90 on their current hourly rate of N$16, while the company offered N$1.21.

    On housing, the employees asked for a raise from the current N$560 to N$730 per month while the company offered N$600.

    Hinyekwa said conciliation attempt was made on 16 February but deadlock was reached and the conciliator issued a certificate of unresolved dispute.

    The workers then voted in favour of a strike and a strike notice was issued to the company.

    “We are still willing to negotiate if the company calls us to the table again,” said Hinyekwa.

    The plant manager at NPT, Wernher Riedel, on Wednesday confirmed the lockout to Nampa.

    He said they had explained to the employees and the union that NPT's contracts were running out, which had halved its annual turnover over the past two years.

    “What can be done to resolve the situation is that we need to understand the financial situation we are currently in and stand together,” he said.


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    TransNamib buys new locomotivesTransNamib buys new locomotivesHalf a billion dollars spent on rolling stock TransNamib has secured a ten-year rail transport agreement that makes provision for the transportation of sulphuric acid to Dundee's acid plant in Tsumeb. TransNamib this week announced the purchase of six new General Electric locomotives. The minister of works and transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, commissioned the locomotives.

    “The rolling stock what you see here today is a culmination of careful planning as a countermeasure to serious multiple derailments encountered in late 2011 as well as the cabinet decision in 2012, when, following successful consultations between government, Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb (DPMT) and the Tsumeb community, a commitment was secured to build a sulphuric acid production plant as an extension and diversification of the age-old Tsumeb Smelter,” said !Naruseb.

    “As a prudent government, we were very happy to learn that TransNamib had entered into a first of its kind ten-year rail transport agreement worth over N$1 billion with DPMT to transport sulphuric acid and copper concentrate on the Walvis Bay–Tsumeb corridor. This was an important consideration for our sponsoring of the equipment that stands before us,” !Naruseb said.

    While acting TransNamib CEO Hippy Tjivikua was happy about the purchase, it was a concern to him that only six locomotives were purchased in stark contrast to the 1 064 bought by South African rail operator Transnet, 100 in Angola and 125 in Mozambique.

    “It is quite worrying that we want to position Namibia as a transport and logistics hub, yet the capacity of our locomotives, rolling stock and rail infrastructure remains a worrying factor that is not commensurate with the business in Southern Africa. Therefore, we have to go big. Please allow us to recapitalise TransNamib and the rail subsector,” Tjivikua said.

    Besides the locomotives, 90 acid tankers and cargo-handling equipment were also bought. Allaying possible fears of patronage, Tjivikua said: “The source of funding for all the locomotives, acid tankers and reach stackers was made possible with funding from the government of the Republic of Namibia. It should be noted that the ... procurement of this equipment was done above board, transparently and without state capture.”

    DPMT vice-president and managing director Zebra Kasete said of the purchase made by TransNamib: “For any country to attract investment, it must have a reliable and efficient transport system, which ensures that the product arrives at the destination and reaches the customer in the shortest possible time.”


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  • 03/02/17--14:00: Targeted for deportation
  • Targeted for deportationTargeted for deportationTensions increase between SA and Nigeria Nigerian officials believe that their citizens are being deported from South Africa following xenophobic attacks in that country. Nigerian media reports that the South African government has deported at least 97 Nigerians for various offences, as bilateral tensions seem likely to heighten between the two countries over “xenophobic attacks”.

    According to Premium Times, the deported Nigerians arrived in the west African country on Monday night “in a chartered aircraft… from Johannesburg”.

    They were made up of 95 males and two females.

    A BBC report said that the department of home affairs had since confirmed the reports with spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete saying that hundreds of undocumented foreign nationals had been deported.

    Tshwete reportedly said that the majority of those deported were from the Southern African Development (SADC) region.

    Others included citizens from Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Somalia, “so it would be unfair to single out Nigerians”, Tshwete was quoted as saying.

    Tshwete's remarks came as Nigerians claimed that they had been unfairly targeted in recent attacks against foreigners.

    Drugs and prostitution

    Media reports quoted senior special assistant to Nigeria's president on diaspora matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa as saying: “They [Nigerians] have been arbitrarily raided ... More [deportations] will likely follow.”

    But, speaking during an interview with News24, an official from South Africa's department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), said it was important for foreign nationals to follow the law if they wanted to stay in the country.

    “Why is it that one country feels targeted by the South African government? In any case, the Nigerians were only part of a large percentage of foreigners who were deported. You can't break the law in another country and expect the government not to do anything about it,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    A Nigerian delegate was reportedly set to visit South Africa soon to ascertain the “true state of affairs” regarding both Nigerian and other foreign nationals living in SA.

    Outbreaks of xenophobic violence were recently reported in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

    Reports indicated that more than 20 shops were targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, and at least 12 houses were attacked in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg.

    Angry residents raided what they called drug dens, telling the tenants they did not want them living there.

    They also called for “pimps” to release prostitutes and send them back home.


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    Duterte one step closer to death penaltyDuterte one step closer to death penalty Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign to bring back the death penalty for drug-related crimes has cleared a major hurdle, with supporters backing it in congress but critics denouncing the plans as “inhumane”.

    The death penalty bill, along with a proposed measure to punish children as young as nine as adult criminals, are key planks of Duterte's controversial drug war that has already claimed more than 6 500 lives.

    A majority of politicians in the lower house of congress passed a second reading of the bill on Wednesday night, clearing one of the biggest obstacles in proponents' plans to have make the death penalty legal by May.

    A third and final reading still needs to be held next week, although with no more debates, both sides agree passage is a formality. Then the Senate, which is similarly dominated by Duterte's allies, would pass a counterpart bill.

    “We have hurdled the most difficult part,” congressman Reynaldo Umali, a sponsor of the bill, told AFP.

    Opponents voiced anger the Philippines would bring back the death penalty, 11 years after it was revoked, highlighting among many concerns a corrupt justice system that would lead to innocent people being executed.

    “The decision is inhumane, shameful and blatantly disrespectful,” Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary for public affairs at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said in a statement sent to AFP.

    “Let me reiterate this, criminals should be punished and victims should be aided, but the punishment should not be death. Due to our flawed and dysfunctional criminal justice system, there is a great chance that innocent people may become victims of wrongful convictions.”

    The Catholic Church, which counts 80% of Filipinos as followers, had led the opposition to abolish the death penalty in 2006.

    Secillano and opposition lawmakers also criticised the tactics used to ensure the bill was passed, such as curtailing of debates and only allowing a vote by voice so lawmakers would not be specifically identified as having supported it.

    The speaker of the house also threatened to strip lawmakers of committee leadership positions if they voted against the bill.

    “This is a chamber of puppets and bullies,” congressman Edcel Lagman, a long-time opponent of capital punishment, said after his efforts to block the bill were voted down.

    The bill limits the death penalty to drug-related crimes.

    Possessing 500g of marijuana, or 10g of cocaine, heroin or ecstasy, would be crimes punishable by execution, as would manufacturing and selling drugs.

    People who commit serious crimes such as murder and rape while under the influence of drugs could also be executed.

    However committing those crimes without being under the influence of drugs would only be punishable with jail terms.

    The bill allows for execution by hanging, firing squad or injection.


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    Why grandmothers are simply the bestWhy grandmothers are simply the best Every one of us can attest to having a “tough as nails” and uncompromising grandmother. She would defend you against the wicked world, but also never shy to tongue lash you.

    You haven’t lived if you haven’t had the distinct ‘privilege ‘of travelling with your grandmother.

    Gents, I am not just referring to a drive around the block, or taking her home after visiting you. Nah – that will be too easy! I am referring to travelling with her to a location as remote as Aminuis in the Omaheke Region – a gruelling 390km from Windhoek. To start off with, my trusted 1980 Merc did not prove to be such a hit with my Nana as it had been with the women in Swakopmund’s Vineta surburb. Ok, most of them are white, but that is beside the point.

    Accommodating my grandma, all her luggage and grandkids in the Merc, when we had to leave for the village during the past long weekend, proved to be a nightmare.

    I pulled in at my sister’s place in Katutura’s former Herero Section where my granny was accommodated. With the stereo of the Merc responding to Credence Clear Water Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”, I parked inside and got out. I greeted my granny, and after passing the “Boy, you are too thin … why don’t you send money home more frequently…” initiation, we were finally ready to start packing for the journey ahead.

    Mbuae, my granny had three of those big china-town bags that have the distinct ability to make an elephant look like an ant; and she had gathered what seems like all her worldly belongings – from pieces of cloth to empty water containers for the trip. “Nana, what are the cloths and water containers for?

    We surely don’t need those”, I attempted to convince her. “Child, I have been carrying these things before you were born. Your uncles never complained, what is the matter with you young people?” We had just finished packing all her belongings (after sacrificing a few of mine) when Nana called on my sisters to bring the “kids”.

    I protested! “Nana, there is no room for kids. Whose kids are they anyway?” “You shut your mouth right there! Don’t you remember how the Nguasananongombe family took care of you when you were still young? These are their grandkids and we are taking them along,” she replied.

    So, off we went – Granny seated on the backseat with her grandkids and a few more pieces of her luggage, and uncle Japie seated on the passenger seat next to me. Uncle Japie was no relative of mine, but he and granny were of late becoming close, so, out of respect, we call him “Uncle”. Trust me; you wouldn’t want to call him by his real name – Tjinjo Otjihara, which when translated means “loose, big mouth”.

    I was forced to listen to uncle Japie’s supposed hunting expedition, in which he was always the hero. From what I was told at the village, uncle Japie had never even held a rifle in his hand – he apparently was the type that would complain of stomach ache every time men gathered to track down a leopard. Nevertheless, Nana appeared to be enjoying uncle Japie’s tales.

    Finally, as we pulled up at her homestead, granny rekindled the conversation about sending my wife to settle permanently at the village – “just like any woman”.

    Her obvious point of reference was Tjiunomuinjo – a woman half my own mother’s age. “Tjiunoo is a good woman. Well, she might have been divorced twice, but those men were irresponsible, it’s a good thing she dropped them. She now stays home and take care of her fourth husband’s cattle…” granny said.

    “But granny, what about love we share? I would want her close to me at all times…times have changed, grandma … Dr Phil reckons that a happy relationship is one built on…”

    “Stop with that Windhoek nonsense of yours. Here, in Omaheke we do things differently. If she can cook, knit and do laundry – she ought to stay at the village”

    I turned on the ignition of my trusted Merc and pulled away towards my own homestead. Boy, was I glad I had one! I raised the volume of my car stereo to the tunes of Bad Company’s “Shooting Star” and headed home!

    Until then…


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  • 03/02/17--14:00: Natural hair celebrations
  • Natural hair celebrations Natural hair celebrations Learn how to wear your crown proudly The Natural Hair Celebration is an event organised to facilitate woman of colour to embrace their natural hair and to show them that with proper treatment it can grow. The organisers Wilka and Liina say having natural hair themselves, they understand the struggles woman experience with damaged hair like edges and breakage from relaxers or those who have natural hair finding it frustrating to manage. They decided to go on a quest to find solutions. “We want to share our knowledge and skills with other women. We would like to see everyone flourish and happy as we go by the motto ‘be you’ which encourages us to be natural as it is actually more fun on all levels,” said Wilka.

    The organisers aim to getting naturals to meet other naturals, to help them gain exposure to natural hair companies and product lines and to help them discover resources and people who can serve as an inspiration for their natural hair journey. They say that having natural hair and maintaining it the right way requires a lot more then what people realise. “Washing natural hair can take the whole day and I as a working adult and student and cannot afford to take off a day for hair. We are also forced to buy cheap hair products which are bad for our hair due to financial constraints since the natural journey is very expensive. After this event I want women to be more equipped on how to take care of their type of hair and to know which products to use,” said Wilka.

    The organisers say they also aim at challenging the definition of beauty in society that even if one doesn't have long straight hair, a sharp nose and light skin pigmentation, they are still beautiful. “We go around hiding our beauty and whenever we remove our weave and makeup we feel uncomfortable. However, the moment women get taught and realise that being natural actually takes less effort, time and money they can learn to shine and love themselves,” said Liina. Wilka urges society to start accepting naturals instead of labelling them as weirdoes and rather see them as woman going back to who they were born to be.

    The event is for everyone even if they have damaged or relaxed hair, or are braided because it is a day of learning, being inspired and learning to love oneself without trying too hard. Miss Namibia 2014 Brumhilda Ochs will be the event MC at Nust Hotel School on 4 March at 12:00. Tickets are N$100 in advance that includes food and can be purchased on their social media page. Those that buy tickets at the gate will pay N$150.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 03/02/17--14:00: The stink from the SME Bank
  • The stink from the SME BankThe stink from the SME Bank So the chickens have finally come home to roost at the SME Bank, forcing the Bank of Namibia to place it under curatorship with effect from Wednesday, because of “questionable investment in South African financial instruments”. The central bank deserves praise for finally taking steps against the board as well as the management of the SME Bank which is implicated in the scandal involving over N$180 million. The central bank has now decided to implement a number of support measures, which includes the appointment of an interim CEO and board while investigations into the matter continue. It must be said that the shenanigans at the SME Bank has been a long time coming, but typical of our government who is the majority shareholder in this business, it chose to adopt a “see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil” stance. And now that the cat is out of the bag, there is no sense in pretending that all is well. The board and management have fiercely been defending the operations at the SME Bank, to the extent of some media houses being threatened with legal action. Principled leaders such as finance minister Calle Schlettwein and the economic planning minister Tom Alweendo are part of a few in Cabinet who publicly raised alarm bells regarding the trouble brewing at the bank. “We can admit that the SME Bank is not doing what it is intended to do. We are very aware of that,” Alweendo was quoted as saying. The ownership structure of the bank has also been frowned upon by many following revelations that one of the individual shareholders Enock Kamushinda has a tainted reputation. There are also allegations that the brains behind the SME Bank unsuccessfully tried to convince MTC to invest its money at the bank. And then there is the N$11 million scandal involving Social Security Commission funds apparently meant for the training needs of the struggle kids, which was signed off by the head of state and deposited at the SME Bank. The very same bank has also been accused of favouring Zimbabweans at the expense of Namibians when it comes to dishing out loans. It is therefore our sincere hope that those implicated are held accountable for their actions.

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    TransNamib CEO search commencesTransNamib CEO search commences TransNamib will soon start the search for a new CEO following the unceremonious exit of current NamPower board member Sara Katiti.

    TransNamib board chairman Paul Smit made the announcement during the unveiling of new sulphuric tanks and locomotives in Windhoek on Wednesday. According to him, the board plans to make an appointment as soon as possible.

    This follows calls by the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, in December 2016 for the appointment of new CEOs at TransNamib and Air Namibia.

    Hippy Tjivikua is acting as TransNamib CEO at the moment.

    Said Smit: “Going forward, the core focus of TransNamib's business is bulk transport. This means that not only should our equipment and rolling stock be modernised based on the bulk freight available for transport in Namibia, but the streamlining of staff is also a critical requirement.

    “However, the financial predicament the company finds itself in is a common concern. Running TransNamib unprofitably and contrary to well-established business principles cannot continue and has to change immediately.”

    At a special meeting held on 23 February, the board resolved to start implementing TransNamib's business plans immediately, to appoint a CEO as soon as possible, and to appoint a chief operations officer (COO) with expertise in marketing and business development qualities shortly afterwards.

    “The newly appointed CEO and COO should, as a matter of urgency, identify additional market opportunities, implement cost-saving measures, identify and address operational inefficiencies, transfer lacking skills and transform the company,” Smit said.

    The new CEO should also upgrade and finalise an integrated strategic business plan within three to six months after appointment.

    The board, with the support of acting CEO Tjivikua and consultant Johan Piek, will right-size the company to become market competitive from 1 April 2017 onwards.

    A financing plan for the 2017/18 financial year, based on the board-approved integrated strategic business plan and the critical needs listed by the executive, will be finalised within the next month to obtain government support and arrange bridging capital from the banks, according to Smit.

    He also revealed that non-core property will be sold to generate funds for capital requirements and for the streamlining exercise. “TransNamib's properties will also be leveraged to generate the necessary funding for operations,” he said.

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    Katima settlement gets 180 housesKatima settlement gets 180 houses The Katima Mulilo Town Council has entered into a public-private partnership to build 187 houses in the new Cowboy Extension 21 settlement this financial year.

    The site was handed over to the developer, Shiku Investment, in December last year, said town council spokesperson Pasval Elijah.

    Elijah told Nampa that the land was semi-serviced, with roads and water already available.

    “Currently, the council is busy with the electrification of the extension and sewer pipes were installed before the construction of the houses commences,” she said.

    Elijah said the development is aimed at middle-income earners, and house prices will range from N$630 000 to N$790 000. The contractor will be responsible for selecting those who qualify.

    She said the land was given to the contractor for free, with the condition that the council would receive 30% of whatever profit the company made.

    At the moment the council is completing the tarring of the main road in the Cowboy Extension to the tune of N$5.4 million.

    Elijah said the council had many plans for the year, such as building more malls to reduce congestion in some areas, and installing storm-water drainage systems for roads.

    She added that it was difficult to implement all the planned projects because the council budget was cut by N$5 million this financial year.

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    Land issue puts    talks in jeopardyLand issue puts talks in jeopardyMatter haunts Germany's effort to atone for Africa genocide The genocide talks with Germany may have to refocus, as communities say they want land, which Berlin says it cannot provide. Namibia's OvaHerero people are heartened that Germany is keen to atone for the genocide of their ancestors, but they expect something Berlin says it is not in a position to give.

    “What we want is our land,” said 74-year-old Alex Kautauuapela, whose parents survived the extermination of 80% of the community, a precursor to the Holocaust.

    She lives much as they did, in a community dependent on cattle herding.

    “The OvaHerero are poor because of German people,” she said, hunched over a walking stick as one of her grandchildren chased a stray dog around her crumbling house in the Herero ancestral homeland of Okahandja north of the capital, Windhoek.

    About half of the arable land in the country in south-western Africa, which Germany annexed in 1884 is owned by descendants of German and Dutch immigrants, who make up just 6% of the 2.3 million population.

    Land used by the OvaHerero and smaller Nama community for grazing was seized and thousands were executed after they rebelled in 1904. The rest were driven into the country's vast tracts of desert to starve.

    The call for land restitution by indigenous groups is mirrored in countries across Africa, and any reparation agreement for the Herero could set a precedent to other groups seeking redress from European colonial powers.

    Momentum for a settlement with Namibia increased last year after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Germany hypocritical for recognising massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide, but not confronting its dark past in Namibia.

    A month later, in July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said Germany would acknowledge the genocide of the OvaHerero and Nama peoples and offer a formal apology. Five rounds of negotiations have been held since, although German officials emphasise talks have been going on since 2012.

    One difficult issue is how to address demands for the return of skulls of victims that were taken to Germany to try to prove racial superiority: Berlin has given some back, but says others are hard to locate. Another sensitive area is calls for monetary compensation.

    But front and centre, for the community, is land.

    “We are willing to go and take our land,” said Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, who says his followers have been excluded from the talks with Germany.

    “We want to be directly in the room with government at negotiations. If the Germans sign on the dotted line without us we will consider it as an act of war,” he told Reuters.

    “We won't wait another 100 years for justice.”


    Another OvaHerero group is being consulted in talks but Rukoro says they are just “puppets” of the Namibian government, which has been dominated by the largest tribe, the Oshiwambo, since independence.

    This week, a United Nations expert Group on People of African Descent appeared to back him up. Noting Germany had apologised for the genocide and given aid, it said it regretted Berlin had “thus far not seriously consulted with the lawful representatives of the minority and indigenous victims of that genocide to discuss reparations”.

    The German ambassador to Namibia, Christian Matthias Schlaga, acknowledged some OvaHerero groups were not currently engaged in the talks but expressed confidence they could be reintegrated.

    “Both governments' clear intention is to reach a result that will be accepted by the communities in question,” Schlaga told Reuters from his office in Windhoek.

    Eyeing a possible Namibia deal, Tanzanians have sought compensation from Germany for some 70 000 killed during the Maji-Maji rebellion during colonial rule of German East Africa in the early 20th century.

    But Schlaga said any agreement between Berlin and Windhoek would not lead to negotiations in other parts of Africa. “We think the situation in Namibia is very unique,” he said. “This is why we negotiate in this country and nowhere else.”

    The unique nature Schlaga refers to is the evidence of German forces' intent to exterminate along ethnic lines. That was spelled out by German General Lothar von Trotha, who was sent by the Kaiser to crush the uprising. “I believe that the (Herero) nation as such should be annihilated,” he wrote. “Only following this cleansing can something new emerge.”

    Those who were not shot or starved to death in the desert were captured and placed in concentration camps, where many more died of disease, mistreatment or torture. Up to 100 000 OvaHerero and 10 000 Nama were killed, historians say.

    OvaHerero and Nama women were systematically raped by German soldiers and their descendants still face discrimination from members of their tribe who consider themselves 'pure'.

    Drawing a line

    The grave of Samuel Maharero, who led the Herero's fight against the German colonial army before escaping across the border, lies in an almost inaccessible field in Okahandja amid wandering goats and overgrown foliage.

    Just a few hundred metres down the road is an impeccably cared-for graveyard for German soldiers killed in the rebellion. There is no cemetery for the slaughtered Herero, whose bodies were left out in the open.

    “We've lost our land, our culture, our tradition,” said one resident.

    “The Germans are getting richer and richer from our land.”

    Schlaga said Berlin supported efforts by Namibia to redistribute land, but it was the responsibility of the Namibian government to resolve disputes between its nationals.

    “Germany has always agreed and supported the Namibian government's decision ... to do a redistribution of land, but based on a principle of willing seller, willing buyer,” he said, noting that land can change hands multiple times over 100 years.

    “It is very difficult, if not impossible, to draw a line from the events of 1905 and 1906, to 2017.”

    Namibian government sources said one idea was for Germany to provide funds for Namibia to purchase land from any owners willing to sell, but that talks on the issue had stalled.

    The government's chief negotiator, Zed Ngavirue, said the 'willing seller, willing buyer' system had failed. The issue would be revisited at a conference this year, he said, but would not be part of the negotiations with Germany over the genocide.

    Robert Murtfeld, a US-based academic and independent observer in the Namibian talks, said he did not think an agreement could be reached unless land was included, with implications for other former colonies in Africa.

    “Any settlement that would be reached between the German and Namibian governments has to address the issue of land and any decisions hereto could have a trickledown effect for others,” he said. “I believe the chances for a deal being reached are very little.”

    - Reuters

    Joe Brock

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    Unethical currency trading draws attentionUnethical currency trading draws attention Recently, the Competition Commission of South Africa revealed that it was investigating claims of collusion in the financial sector.

    Seventeen commercial banks were implicated in rigging the exchange rate of the rand against the US dollar.

    In Namibia, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said the situation was receiving the necessary attention.

    The Bank of Namibia also announced that it would closely follow proceedings in South Africa.

    DTA president McHenry Venaani had asked Schlettwein to comment on the scandal. Schlettwein in response asked for more time to seek advice on the matter and respond to Venaani's query.

    Standard Bank is the only local bank with ties to the South African banks under investigation.

    Releasing a statement recently, Standard Bank South Africa said: “In April 2015 the South African Competition Commission announced that it had initiated a complaint against Standard New York Securities Inc (SNYS) and 21 other institutions concerning possible contravention of the Competition Act in relation to USD/ZAR trading between 2007 and 2013. No mention was made of SBSA.

    “On 15 February 2017 the Competition Commission lodged five complaints with the Competition Tribunal against 18 institutions, including SBSA and SNYS, in which it alleges unlawful collusion between those institutions in the trading of US$/R. SBSA only learned of the complaints at this time and is alleged to have been implicated in one and SNYS in two, of the five complaints.

    “SBSA and SNYS are engaging with the Competition Commission to better understand the basis for the complaints and the appropriate response. Pending the outcome of these engagements and in the light of these historic allegations only having been brought to SBSA's attention on 15 February, no suspension of current employees of SBSA has taken place,” it said.

    “Standard Bank Group considers these allegations in an extremely serious light and remains committed to maintaining the highest levels of control and compliance with all relevant regulations. The allegations are confined to US$/R trading activities within SBSA and do not relate to the conduct of the Group more broadly,” the bank stated.


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    More investment needed in reducing human-wildlife conflictMore investment needed in reducing human-wildlife conflict The CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Environment, Chris Brown, says the ministry of environment needs to invest more in mitigating human-wildlife conflict otherwise the efforts being undertaken are a waste of time.

    Brown was one of the experts speaking at the National Human-Wildlife Conference and did an analysis of 29 conservancies in six regions in Namibia.

    According to Brown, there are many tried and tested solutions to wildlife conflict, but there is not enough money to implement them.

    “There is no point in data collection if there is no action taken. We keep holding meetings and talk and talk and meet and meet, but unless we have the resources to address the problems it is a waste of our time.”

    According to him the ministry needs to allocate funds annually in its budget to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

    Brown said at the moment what was happening was just a piecemeal approach.

    “We need to make this a national programme based on the needs of the conservancies.”

    He said resources should be allocated according to prioritised needs and not equally divided among conservancies. That would allow those conservancies with the greatest need to receive the greatest support.

    Brown pointed out that the N$60 000 allocated to conservancies to address human-wildlife conflict should also be looked into. Some conservancies such as in the Zambezi Region experience high levels of conflict whereas other regions, such as in the south, have very low levels of conflict.

    According to the analysis done by Brown the conservancies with the highest priority when it comes to human-wildlife conflict are Marienfluss and Sanitatas, #Khoadi//Hoas, Mashi, Imapilala and Sorris Sorris and Dora !Nawas.

    He said the impact of human-wildlife conflict on conservancies was highly variable and some experienced high losses while others experienced minimal losses.

    The impact of this conflict on farmers was also variable from year to year and not all farmers shared human-wildlife costs equally.

    “Farmers near parks and core wildlife areas on migration routes, near mountainous areas suffer larger losses.”

    He said finding solutions to reduce incidents of human-wildlife conflict was extremely important from a financial point of view.

    Brown said a human-wildlife information system needed to be set up for all conservancies, which should be updated every year from audited event books that listed crop, livestock and infrastructure losses.


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  • 03/02/17--14:00: Oshakati stunned by floods
  • Oshakati stunned by floodsOshakati stunned by floodsPeople move to higher ground Oshakati residents are complaining that poor planning was the reason why their homes are under water. With the rainy season still in the early stages the flood-prone town of Oshakati is yet again busy with the relocation of people to higher ground following heavy rain that has left some areas flooded.

    While the majority of the informal settlements are flooded, houses at Ehenye constructed under the Mass Housing programme are also flooded, which has angered the home owners who want the council to step up and handle the situation with urgency.

    When Namibian Sun visited Ehenye yesterday one could observe mini islands where some houses were surrounded by rainwater forcing desperate home owners to purchase sand from private companies, which they say is a costly exercise.

    Frustrated home owner Vistorina Ngolongo described the situation as very bad, saying that the flooding has become a burden for her.

    Ngolongo said she had to instruct her son not to go to school yesterday in order to monitor the situation because the water running through the culverts metres from her home was flowing from the other side of the road straight into her yard.

    “I was very happy to have received the house, but I am not feeling well about the water which has trapped my house. I even had to park my car somewhere else because I cannot enter my house,” she said.

    “If the council can assist us with sand or close the culverts we will be happy because this situation is unacceptable.”

    Oshakati is now faced with a scarcity of higher ground where they can move affected people to. Ekuku, the area where people used to be relocated to, has been developed and houses were built there.

    Oshakati mayor Angelus Iyambo said the council was taking the plight of the people very seriously. He said some people from the Oshoopala and Oneshila informal settlements had been relocated to a fenced area in Ekuku, but it was not large enough to accommodate them all.

    Iyambo could not say how many people had been relocated so far, saying the council was still assessing the situation.

    “We have started relocating people to Ekuku but we are still looking for other optional places where we can relocate the people. The people should know that the council is busy and we are trying our level best to handle the issue,” Iyambo said.

    When asked about the flooding at Ehenye caused along the way where the culverts were constructed, Iyambo said the council was not to blame as the developer, which is the National Housing Enterprise (NHE), should have ensured that the area was safe.

    Iyambo said the council was only responsible for allocating the land and it was the duty of the developer to ensure that this kind of thing did not happen.

    He said the council and the NHE were looking at ways of addressing the issue amicably.


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  • 03/02/17--14:00: The sex work debate
  • The sex work debateThe sex work debateOpposition urged to speak on prostitution decriminalisation Sex workers are maintaining that parliament should change existing legislation so that soliciting is no longer an offence. The Rights not Rescue Trust of Namibia (RnRT) has urged opposition parties to become vocal on decriminalising sex work.

    The call comes ahead of International Sex Workers' Rights Day, which is celebrated annually on 3 March to raise awareness of sex workers, their rights as human beings and the call for the industry to be legalised.

    RnRT Executive Director, Nicodemus Aoxamub, also known as Mama Africa, said during a media breakfast yesterday that parliamentarians of opposition parties are often silent and do not speak in unison on issues affecting sex workers as well as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

    Aoxamub said the non-governmental organisation is of the opinion that the rights of LGBTI communities and sex workers are not represented in parliament, and therefore those communities continue living in fear as they are stigmatised, discriminated against and violated in public.

    “Sex work is like any other work, but sex workers walk in fear because of stigmatisation and discrimination by healthcare providers and police officers.”

    Mama Africa called on President Hage Geingob to look into decriminalising sex work and encourage Namibia to develop tolerance and acceptance of LGBTI people before his first term in office ends in 2020.

    He said there are close to 15 000 sex workers in Namibia, most of whom are found at border towns like Oshikango in northern Namibia and Walvis Bay at the coast.

    “Some workers trade as sex workers because they recognise sex work as normal jobs, while others do it for economic reasons,” he explained.

    There is no law that protects sex workers in Namibia and sodomy is illegal.

    Various groups have since independence lobbied for the decriminalisation of sex work in Namibia through the abolishment of the Combating of Immoral Practices Act of 1980, which amongst others criminalises prostitution.

    The Act prohibits the soliciting of sex, trading as a prostitute and keeping a brothel.


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