Articles on this Page
- 04/10/17--16:00: _On tour with the Sp...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Capable and jobless
- 04/10/17--16:00: _A man with a pan
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Move in silence
- 04/10/17--16:00: _US to sell warplane...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Shot of the day
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Denying the poor co...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Climate change to s...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Zambezi to embank s...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Africa, African you...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _The need to return ...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Suppose I am the pr...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Africa, African you...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Wet week ahead
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Time talks to start
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Ekandjo's driver ki...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Alleged killer of F...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Aandonga march agai...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _SONA must reflect r...
- 04/10/17--16:00: _Pensioner comes to ...
- 04/10/17--16:00: On tour with the Special Olympics
- 04/10/17--16:00: Capable and jobless
- 04/10/17--16:00: A man with a pan
- 04/10/17--16:00: Move in silence
- 04/10/17--16:00: US to sell warplanes to Buhari
- 04/10/17--16:00: Shot of the day
- 04/10/17--16:00: Denying the poor condoms
- 04/10/17--16:00: Climate change to slice 6% off GDP
- 04/10/17--16:00: Zambezi to embank schools against floods
- 04/10/17--16:00: Africa, African youth and the search for answers
- 04/10/17--16:00: The need to return to our African Roots
- 04/10/17--16:00: Suppose I am the president
- 04/10/17--16:00: Africa, African youth and the search for answers
- 04/10/17--16:00: Wet week ahead
- 04/10/17--16:00: Time talks to start
- 04/10/17--16:00: Ekandjo's driver killed in crash
- 04/10/17--16:00: Alleged killer of Finnish national denies guilt
- 04/10/17--16:00: Aandonga march against OTA
- 04/10/17--16:00: SONA must reflect realities
- 04/10/17--16:00: Pensioner comes to family’s aid
Our trip to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria started on 13 March. That was the day that we left Windhoek. After a long journey via Johannesburg and Amsterdam to Vienna, we spent the first two days in Linz. There we had a sightseeing tour, met the mayor of Linz and visited the Schlossberg of Linz, where we enjoyed a very nice evening. These two days were organised by the Rotary Club in Linz as part of the host town programme that was offered in line with the World Winter Games.
The actual games started on Friday, 17 March in Graz, yet another city in Austria. The opening night was made a night to remember with the German singer Helene Fischer having a live performance. Though not everyone might like her music, it was something special to see and hear her live.
We had a total of seven days of games to play against all the other teams from our group. We placed fourth in our group, which is a not too bad result, seeing that it was the first time for all of us and that we do not have a floorball league like other countries have. Also, we gained lots of experience.
Overall, it was a truly wonderful experience and I would like to participate at the Special Olympics World Games again some time, being able to give people with mental impairment a chance to participate in such events as well.
Nils von Blottnitz is a Grade 11 student at DHPS Windhoek
For many university students graduating is an academic milestone. Obtaining your qualification after so many years of sleepless nights and countless hours of stress it is a proud moment for any student. Your parents and siblings are always super proud of you and you are sometimes amazed by your outstanding accomplishments.
But what happens after all the endorphins and excitement fades away? What do you do when the ululations and praise from your parents and siblings can no longer be heard? When you have finally received your degree, what do you do with it and is it useful? Many graduates who obtain their qualifications at university cannot secure employment in their respective career-choice industries.
When Rebecca (not her real name) finally got her degree after four years of hard work she was excited about her achievement. She graduated with an Honours Degree in Human Resources at the International University of Management (IUM). She finished her studies in 2016 and what was supposed to be a moment of pride for her became a nightmare because she could not get a job. “Since I completed my studies I have been looking around for jobs and I applied for jobs that I knew I was qualified for but I was never called for interviews, even for jobs which required a Grade 12 qualification. But I do not know… since I am applying with my degree maybe I am overqualified,” she said.
It is very frustrating for her because she cannot find a job even though she is qualified. “It is very frustrating and sometimes I cannot sleep and I want to help my parents but I cannot find a job. I thought I would get one after I was done with my studies,” shared Rebecca.
The unemployed graduate feels that due to corruption in Namibia many graduates are being robbed of jobs that are intended for them. “Sometimes companies advertise and make vacancies public but they already have someone they have employed for the positions that are vacant,” shared Rebecca. Rebecca has advised local institutions of higher learning to secure job attachments for their students to curb the number of unemployed graduates in Namibia.
Rebecca says she is not certain about what the future looks like for her but is hopeful she is going to be employed soon. “I do not know how the future looks like but I will not give up I will continue looking for jobs,” said Rebecca.
Simson Nangolo, another unemployed graduate who studied banking, finance and credit at the Institute of Bankers (IOB) has encouraged future graduates to ensure that they equip themselves with the necessary skills to make themselves marketable to companies so that they can be easily employed. “Whenever you are going to graduate there is too much competition and you cannot even secure internships. If you do not pull up your socks you might end up in the same cycle as those who have already graduated before you,” he said. Nangolo says that part of the reason why graduates are finding it hard to get jobs is because companies’ job requirements are too high. “The market is asking for six years’ experience and they are not likely to take us in because we do not have that experience,” shared Nangolo
He has continued his studies since his graduation last year and is currently studying for a degree in accounting at the University of Namibia (Unam) because he could not find a job. “I’m still studying because I could not find a job within the time frame that I graduated,” said Nangolo.
Paulus Haimbodi another graduate did not let the fact that he could not get a job slow him down. After he graduated in 2016 with a degree in information technology (IT) for business information systems he started his own business instead of waiting for employment. “I am currently just running my own personal business and trying to survive,” said Haimbodi.
Haimbodi says that companies have “unrealistic” goals when they are trying to hire people and that graduates usually do not get jobs because of requirements that they cannot fulfil. “The most troubling things are the requirements that they need for certain jobs. Sometimes we apply for entry-level jobs and the kind of things that they are asking for are unrealistic. These are the kind of things that are really knocking us out,” shared Haimbodi
Haimbodi says it is possible for graduates to start their own companies and not rely heavily on employment from companies but it is difficult for them to do so because of funding. “We really have brilliant ideas but the funding is not - even if we are running businesses right now,” said Haimbodi.
Gerhard Jansen the general manager at employment agency Jobs Unlimited says there are many reasons why graduates cannot secure jobs, some of which include a lack of experience, a mismatch of qualifications and vacancies that are available, and that sometimes graduates expect to start working at companies while earning high salaries which is not the case in reality.
Enko Ndemuweda, who runs a community and research youth organisation called Conscious Communiversity says that there is a mismatch in skills development from universities for graduates and the job market. “We found out through our investigations that there is a mismatch between the job market and universities and they need to work together,” shared Ndemuweda.
Jansen has advised graduates to build up their working experience by starting off working entry-level jobs and to always apply for the right positions and vacancies when they are job hunting. “They must be willing start with an entry level position in their line of qualifications, just to get the necessary experience, for example if you have an accounting qualification maybe start as a processing clerk, debtor clerks, bookkeeping assistant, and from where you can work your way up to an accountant or managerial position,” advised Jansen
He added that institutions of higher learning should ensure that they collaborate with would-be employers to make sure that there is not a high number of unemployed graduates in Namibia. “The respective faculties could develop a network between possible employers and their students,” said Jansen.
He says that universities should ensure that the quality of education they provide matches with the demand from the job market. “Emphasise more on courses in which there is a need for in the market or for which the skills shortage is high, rather than flood the market with graduates in a specific field for which there is no need or shortage,” shared Jansen.
Kambata, who hails from Ongwediva, started cooking at home at an early age and was groomed by his aunt who owned a catering company. Kambata decided to follow in his aunt's footsteps. “My aunt asked me why I do not just take up cooking as a career since I was always in the kitchen cooking and helping out,” said Kambata. As destiny would have it, Kambata was awarded a scholarship through the Millennium Challenge Account, to be trained by Dessert Academy in partnership with Nice Restaurant for six months, in culinary services.
After he completed his training Kambata worked for the Gondwana Collection where he was groomed by Chef David Thomas, a well-known chef in Windhoek. Kambata is currently employed at Olive Exclusive hotel in Eros as a Senior Chef. He describes his work as fun and rewarding. “I am doing what I have always wanted to do. For me it does not even feel like work because I get up every day to do what I love and it is gratifying,” said Kambata.
In 2016 Kambata was the first runner up in the Junior Chef of the Year competition hosted by the Namibian Chef Association (NCA). The young chef maintains that being the first runner up in the competition was fulfilling because it was not the first time that he entered the competition but had never achieved much. “I first entered the Junior Chef of the Year competition in 2015 but I did not make it and then I again participated the following year and being first runner-up has taught me that everything is possible with resilience and determination,” explained Kambata.
French cuisine is Kambata's favourite to prepare but he is also keen to learn to prepare Thai cuisine because it is healthier and easy to make. He describes himself as a very experimental chef and thus likes trying out various cuisines. “I do not like boxing myself into only one thing… I like challenging myself by trying out new things,” he added.
Kambata points out meeting the Master Chefs from South Africa was one of the highlights of his career. “This motivated me to work hard and emulate what they have achieved,” said Kambata on meeting his idols. “It was a dream come true. For me to meet Master Chefs from South Africa, take pictures with them and even converse with them was amazing,” he said. “They gave me advice on how to build yourself and grow as a chef.”
He adds that he also considers cooking for the President and First Lady of Namibia one of his highlights in his career. It is said the First Couple enjoyed the meal….
Kambata plans to have his own catering company in the near future because he feels most of the catering services cannot do what he can do. He maintains that he has worked with some of the great chefs in the country and they have made him realise his. “My mentors have taught me so much and I am confident I am able to run my own business,” he said. He says that he would like to be his own boss not just for his personal gratification but also to make his mentors proud.
Kambata points out his family as his pillars of strength because they have supported him ever since he started pursuing his dream of becoming a chef. “My family are very supportive and encouraging, they motivate me to work harder and realise all the goals I have set for myself to achieve,” said Kambata about his support system. He calls on other families to do the same for their relatives saying that support from family is very crucial. “When your family supports you, you will have the drive to work harder because you know there are people that want you to succeed. I am grateful to my family for the support they continue showing me for my work,” said Kambata.
The hospitality sector in Namibia is doing very well and the chefs that he knows of are really pushing the envelope. However he suggests that it will be beneficial to especially young chefs to receive training from international chefs to broaden their horizons. “As a young chef there is so much to be learnt in our industry and if you want to go far you must be willing to learn from the best,” advised Kambata. He went on to say that chefs must be creative when preparing their meals and uplift Namibian cuisine.
He admits that his journey has not been a walk in a park but his zeal and hunger to realise his dreams have got him to where he is today. “Nothing is easy but determination and great love for what you do will take you places and eventually realise your dreams.”
I am saying we should avoid pre-emptying our plans, because there are so many benefits for not telling people what you are about to do. I suggest you rather start executing the plans you have and let your work speak for you.
What you should know is the fact that not everyone wants to see you succeed so it is for this reason that you should manoeuvre in silence. You should work hard for yourself and not for others. You should avoid seeking validation from people by disclosing your plans to them. You should be selfish with your business ideas by keeping them close to your chest as you work on them, because there are opportunists out there that will steal your ideas. I know it is so difficult not to depend on other people when your business is in its infancy, but if you perhaps are looking for opinions from others then you should find a great friend to confide in, someone you can rely on for support. But I am not saying you should not seek help when you need it. Just remember complete independence is so liberating, but it is a process. So, take enough time to work on your dreams because Rome was not build in a day.
In a span of ten years some people could be married with kids, some could be millionaires; others could still be announcing their next moves on WhatsApp groups. My advice to fellow youth is, we should refrain from pre-empting our ideas and start executing the plans for them to materialise and come to fruition.
Be silent not only about what you are working on, academic paths or business ventures, but also with benevolent gestures. I know that helping the less fortunate members of our community is probably one of the best ways to make a fellow citizen feel good, but you do not have to announce your good deed to the world or pat yourself on the back. Rather, just do it for your own good and peace of mind and not because you want the world and your neighbourhood to see you as a generous person. Challenge yourself to one day do something for someone that will change their life completely without telling the next person about the help you have rendered.
Like I stated earlier, I am not saying you should become so self centred that you do not seek help from other people. You should be an extrovert to a certain extent, because being socially accommodating will expose you to people who might help you get to the next level. I am a good example of being that, because I have been friendly to strangers lately and I have been meeting people with great minds and I am thoroughly enjoying the mix. So, be nice to people, take time to know strangers before you share your dreams and aspirations.
Another reason why you should move in silence is because silence helps you to reflect on issues taking place in your life. I believe that working on your goals quietly also helps you to become self-reliant and confident. This is because when you do not go around telling your friends about your next moves, you will have only yourself to rely on to complete the tasks you have set for yourself and consequently you become self-reliant.
Moving in silence also builds confidence and you begin to trust yourself that you are going to accomplish goals that you have set, without help from anyone. In other words it helps you with self-assurance.
Keeping your future plans to yourself also helps to overcome obstacles that may come your way. Because you are working silently on your goals, no one is going to detract you by sharing negative information that will make you believe that your business ideas are not viable. Life is about taking risks without having to disclose your plans to others. As a young person you need to take calculated risks, because thosewho take risks in life are the ones who have prospered and cowards will die working for the risk takers.
Finally, in a world where most people want to see you succeed, work hard silently, avoid revealing your plans to everyone and quietly execute your plans.
Congress is expected to receive formal notification within weeks, setting in motion a deal with Nigeria that the Obama administration had planned to approve at the very end of Barack Obama's presidency.
The arrangement will call for Nigeria to purchase up to 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with sophisticated targeting gear for nearly US$600 million, one of the officials said.
The officials were not authorised to discuss the terms of the sale publicly and requested anonymity to speak about internal diplomatic conversations.
Though President Donald Trump has made clear his intention to approve the sale of the aircraft, the National Security Council is still working on the issue.
Military sales to several other countries are also expected to be approved but are caught up in an ongoing White House review.
Nigeria has been trying to buy the aircraft since 2015.
The Nigerian air force has been accused of bombing civilian targets at least three times in recent years.
In the worst incident, a fighter jet on 17 January repeatedly bombed a camp at Rann, near the border with Cameroon, where civilians had fled from Boko Haram.
Between 100 and 236 civilians and aid workers were killed, according to official and community leader counts.
That bombing occurred on the same day the Obama administration intended to officially notify Congress the sale would go forward. Instead, it was abruptly put on hold, according to an individual who worked on the issue during Obama's presidency. Days later, Trump was inaugurated.
Senator Bob Corker said this past week that he supported the A-29 deal to Nigeria as well as the sale of US-made fighter jets to Bahrain that had been stripped of human rights caveats imposed by the Obama administration.
Under Obama, the US said Bahrain failed to make promised political and human rights reforms after its Sunni-ruled government crushed Arab Spring protests five years ago.
“We need to deal with human rights issues, but not on weapons sales,” Corker said.
The State Department said in a 2016 report that the Nigerian government has taken “few steps to investigate or prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government and impunity remained widespread at all levels of government.”
Amnesty International has accused Nigeria's military of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the extrajudicial killings of an estimated 8 000 Boko Haram suspects.
President Muhammadu Buhari promised to investigate the alleged abuses after he won office in March 2015, but no soldier has been prosecuted and thousands of people remain in illegal military detention. Nigeria's military has denied the allegations.
The A-29 sale would improve the US relationship with Nigeria, Africa's largest consumer market of 170 million people, the continent's biggest economy and its second-largest oil producer.
Nigeria also is strategically located on the edge of the Sahel, the largely lawless semi-desert region bridging north and sub-Saharan Africa where experts warn Islamic extremists like the Nigeria-based Boko Haram may expand their reach.
The aircraft deal also would satisfy Trump's priorities to support nations fighting Islamic uprisings, boost US manufacturing and create high-wage jobs at home.
The A-29 aircraft, which allow pilots to pinpoint targets at night, are assembled in Jacksonville, Florida.
Once Congress is officially notified of the sale, lawmakers who want to derail it have 30 days to pass veto-proof legislation. That's a high hurdle given Corker's support. Senator John McCain also said he backs the sale.
“We've really got to try to do what we can to contain them,” McCain said of Boko Haram.
In Trump's first phone call with Buhari in February, he “assured the Nigerian president of US readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism,” according to Buhari's office.
A 15 February White House statement that provided a summary of the call said “President Trump expressed support for the sale of aircraft from the United States to support Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram.”
Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in mid-February he was “leery” of the sale because of the Nigerian military's impunity. Cardin said this week he's not trying to block the deal.
“Ultimately we hope that the sale goes forward,” he said. “But there is progress that needs to be made in protecting the civilian population.”
These young men have indicated their willingness to condomise, but factors beyond their control won't allow it.
The gentlemen argued that there was simply a lack of condoms in their community, which places them at higher risk of contracting STDs, considering that they are highly sexually active.
Although many organisations and authorities working on HIV/Aids related programmes still stand by the fact that abstinence is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections, it has been proven over the years that condom use is an important tool in preventing the spread of HIV.
The situation in Kavango West also goes to show how sexualised our society has become, so much so that people will have sex, with or without a condom. It's no secret that boys and girls as young as 16 years old are sexually active.
That is the honest truth. And we should continue to invest in efforts to discourage early sex. Still, we can't stop it, that is autonomy.
We need to provide men and women with an option to protect themselves, an option to have safe sex, an option to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
But we seemingly continue to fail our rural citizens in providing these options.
It is easy to say that men who don't have condoms at the time should just not have sex and that it is an individual choice, but a nation as fragile as ours, when it comes to the health of its citizens, shouldn't have that kind of luxury.
It is not all doom and gloom.
There has been significant wins in terms of public healthcare even though the challenges persist to this day.
Surely we can't bring healthcare centres to people overnight, but condoms? The authorities should be able to deliver that in an instant.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, in his budget speech last week said climate change continues to be a serious obstacle to Namibia's development goals.
“It threatens the livelihoods of our people, particularly those in rural areas, and small-scale farmers who depend on rain-fed, subsistence farming, and natural resources,” said Shifeta.
It also threatens ecosystems, which impact the agricultural sector, crucial to national food security.
Shifeta said that several studies have revealed that as a result of climate change agricultural dry-land productivity in Namibia's north-central parts may be reduced by up to 50%, while in the north-eastern regions productivity is expected to decline by approximately 20%.
He said that additionally, there is a possible decrease in Namibian fish production ranging from 30% to 50%.
According to him the tourism sector is also not spared from the impacts of climate change.
“It is estimated that because of an expected decline in wildlife resulting from climate change, tourism GDP will decline significantly as tourists may opt for alternative destinations to Namibia.”
Shifeta said that climate change may furthermore also hinder the country's progress in acquiring sustainably sourced energy security.
Through its impact on water levels in the region, climate change is likely to affect the provisioning of hydro-electrical power, he said.
“To summarise the effects of these unprecedented events on our national economy, it is estimated that Namibia could experience annual losses equivalent to approximately 6% of the GDP due to climate change's impacts on the natural resource sectors alone.”
He said that climate change therefore poses a real threat to Namibia's revenue, which in turn may limit the government's ability to address national development issues.
According to Shifeta, Namibia has prioritised adaptation as an approach to address the impacts from climate change.
Shifeta said the ministry has been able to mobilise N$1.1 billion during the past financial year through multilateral and bilateral sources in support of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and this money will be invested over the next five years in a range of strategic sectors in the Namibian economy, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, climate resilient agriculture and water security.
Lawrence Sampofu told Nampa the plan is to make embankments of 200 square metres around the schools seriously affected by floods every year.
The governor said a feasibility study on this was conducted three years ago and N$37 million was allocated for this project for the 2016/17 financial year.
However, it could not materialise because of national budget cuts by government late last year.
“We are now looking forward to get the funds this year in order to start with the project of embanking schools in case of floods the following year,” he said.
Sampofu said communities in those areas could be moved to these schools once embanked.
He said the current situation is dangerous for children, most of whom go to school with dugout canoes.
The governor said he has alerted parents to always escort their children to school to avoid drownings as the waters are deep.
“Flood waters remain here until July, meaning the roads only become assessable as of August, giving contractors time to work on the embanking project at least until November when you would be expecting rain again,” he said.
Four people have drowned in the flood prone areas of Kabbe North and South constituencies in the region thus far.
Meanwhile, the Zambezi Regional Council has resolved to relocate the most affected schools in flood prone areas to two relocation camps at Nakabolelwa and Schuckmannsburg.
The rising Zambezi River currently stands at 6.55 metres.
Close to 3 000 people have been affected by the floods in the region and government has so far managed to relocate 1 500 people.
Councillors of the Kabbe North and Kabbe South constituencies have applauded government's decision to urgently relocate schools affected by the floods.
Peter Mwala and John Likando made these remarks during a field visit by boat to the worst affected schools in their constituencies over the weekend.
The visit was aimed at informing teachers, learners, parents, school board members and the entire community of Government's decision to temporarily relocate schools in the two constituencies in the Zambezi Region until floodwater subsides.
The two councillors were accompanied by the Bukalo Circuit inspector of Education and a Namibia National Teachers' Union (Nantu) representative in the region.
At the Nankuntwe Combined School in Kabbe South, all buildings are under water, with teachers' accommodation and toilets also affected. Only a small portion of the school premises is on dry ground.
The worst affected school in the area is the Muzi Combined School. Here learners sleep in classrooms due to water in their sleeping quarters.
Apart from the flooding, toilet floors and walls are covered in human faeces, which emit a strong stench. Teachers say that everyone uses the river to bath and to relieve themselves. People also drink water from the same river.
Therefore, choosing the topic 'Africans let us go back to the roots of our culture' might create a lot of questions to many of us.
It may lead to many wishing to know as to why I chose this topic.
I did not only choose this topic because I am an African, but because the African culture is one of the cultures that is slowly becoming extinct and will eventually die if we, and the world at large, do not take a step forward to revive it.
One of the very proud African scholars, Alik Shahadah said, “If we do not stop the oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard when it is a tree.”
Dear readers, allow me to state that Africa is undoubtedly the victim of what we call cultural imperialism.
By definition, cultural imperialism is the domination of one culture over another by a deliberate policy or by economic or technological superiority.
The agents of this imperialism are mass media and unfair trade.
The consequences of this imperialism are underdevelopment, loss of identity and language, and the destruction of markets (e.g. where traditional African clothes are replaced with Western items).
Let me stress and challenge all Africans today reading this article: How often do we put on our beautiful African dresses? Do we really have to wait for events such as weddings, Olufuko or other cultural events to put on our African dresses or to just use our names as a basis to draw ourselves close to the African identity? How can Europeans and other nationalities be proud to put on an African dress if even we Africans do not take pride in who we are?
A lot of unethical and immoral behaviour happening today in Africa is a sign that Africans have lost pride in their identity. It is a sign that we have lost the foundation of our culture.
Fellow Africans when I say the roots of Africa, I am referring to the originality of Africa, those values that uphold and define African people, either the way they talk, the way they eat, socialise and dance and even the way they dress and look.
How many husbands/boyfriends during 1970s were reported to have killed their girlfriend? In fact most of Western drinks make Africans to be involved in all these violent activities.
Are the drinks we are taking African drinks? Indeed we are promoting European culture. Isn't it? What percentage of Namibians specifically killed their girlfriend when they were drunk because of Epwaka, Otombo or Kanyatawu, ndevele, kashipembe etc?
Allow me to emphasise that the biggest value in African culture is Ubuntu (uunhu womunhu).
That means we are just human beings because of others. In the late 60s Africans upheld and believed in the principle of Ubuntu.
There was no African who would go to bed hungry while the neighbour or the community at large had food.
Indeed this has changed, what percentage of Africans today live in poverty and how many Africans are becoming richer and richer by the day while a bigger percentage wallow in abject poverty? The question is where are we going as Africans? My dear African brothers and sisters, one of the values we have lost as Africans is our language, a true reflection of ourselves.
Language is the conveyor belt of culture, yet 32% of the endangered languages are African languages.
To speak a language is to engage in a culture (Nehusi).
The unique relationship between language and thought and the paradigm positions which grow out of these thought processes are therefore endangered.
A good example is from the Chinese people who are being taught in their mother tongue (Mandarin) and their education produces many scientists that even us Africans, who are being taught in English, are using. Just imagine doing an experiment or research in your mother tongue.
It is really easy you can imagine. Why are we as Africans afraid to make our own mother tongue a medium of instruction?
The reason English is rich is because everyone who speaks it (including us) adds to its legacy.
It is no longer a language of English people. Just writing English means we contribute to its expansion and diversity.
The problem is the more we use it the richer we make it.
Therefore my call is to ensure that as Africans, our children should speak our own mother tongues in our houses.
Let me also call on our institutions of higher learning to embark on a policy that will promote African languages.
Currently when you want to study in Russia you first you have to be taught Russian. Why can't our institutions do the same? The Philippines have just recently introduced a language policy promoting local languages.
In a nutshell, it is imperative for the ministry of education in Namibia to ensure that mother tongues become the medium of instruction from Grade 1 all the way to Grade 12. Let us all take ownership of our culture. Let us go back to the values and roots of Africa. Let the spirit of Ubuntu guide every African in all we do.
Together we can make it.
*Petrus Ishitile Shiweva holds a BED Honours in upper primary and he also served as HP Unam Campus SRC Deputy President in 2016.
In our daily lives, we dream of certain things, hoping to pursue them with age. It is also within my rights to title this article as though I were the CEO of Namibia. If I were president I would strive to accomplish these three major things which I think have been long overdue in our beloved land of the brave.
First, I would strengthen our education system, provide ha ome to every willing Namibian who works hard to provide. Giving them not a shelter but a place they can truly call home. We must be frank enough to acknowledge that the education system in Namibia is not one on which we can all be very proud. Yes, Namibia has good schools, colleges, and higher learning institutions such as Nust, IUM and the University of Namibia, which is the biggest institution in the country. It is however shocking that they run like a private school, one where students’ voices are kept silent under the pretext of “peace and stability”, but our standards are not set as high as other countries like South Africa, Egypt or even the West.
For instance, our country does not fund our schools adequately; the education system needs to be revamped. Teachers teach without enough books, have no supplies needed to excel, libraries have undusted shelves with books that are often over 20 years old. How can we expect our children to be up to date with the world’s information if our teaching materials are not of recent publications? Our children are taught how locusts reproduce, while in other countries, children are taught how to connect laptops to a neighbour’s WiFi. Often teachers in our public schools are forced to buy text books and supplies for their children with their own money. Why do they do this? Because they believe in a good education for all learners. Our country "prides" itself on the quality of education a person can receive here, yet teachers are one of the lowest paid professionals in the country. These teachers then lack the motivation required to succeed.
Teachers were promised an increment of 9% this year, what happened? The politicians are rather interested in hiking their salaries with 6%. Ironically, the same government that sings the chorus of the “country has no money”, is the same government that without shame hikes “their” salaries. Tate Butti sings “is the problem in the system, or is the system in the problem?” One concerned citizen once asked, does the country really have money, or does it only have money for corruption? It’s crazy but this is the reality on the ground.
If I were president, I would also make sure that everyone in this country has a place to call home. Before one is a president, one is a human being - made of blood, flesh and bones with the help of oxygen. There are certain necessities that a compound of flesh, bones and blood needs to have: that is land or a home. Our homeless people are suffering. A president should know that living in a shack is not a house at all. McHenry Venaani can assure it. I would rather spend on housing than on the food bank. I would rather address the cause of poverty than trying so hard to eradicate poverty by giving people cheap tinned food and Top Score maize meal. What is the use of giving my child food, while he has no place to study? That makes no sense. These children do not have access to sanitation, water, electricity and even playgrounds where they can enjoy their childhood.
I believe housing is the best medicine to end poverty in our country. Our community fears for their lives everyday as men and women in uniform continuously use vulgar language towards them as they destroy their “homesteads”. They are trying to make a living for themselves, many of them are sitting on the so-called “municipality waiting list" since 1999 and 2000, almost two decades on the waiting list. The gap of those with resources continues to widen – growing away from those with nothing. Land allocation continues in the old traditional way, with the haves always benefiting at the expense of the have-nots.
The City of Windhoek continues to deliberately not service land for its residents. Service delivery is moving at a snail’s pace, this can be proven by the process of how Goreangab Ext. 4 is going. It is not even at 10% since 2015 when the site was handed over. There are many people ready to service townships in and out of Windhoek, yet the management and council remains silent and hides behind budgets. Look at townships in Tsumeb, Oshakati, Keetmanshop, Walvis Bay… the lack of politicians’ commitment is forever vivid. They are busy fighting for their lives as the November congress is slowly drawing close.
If I were the president, I will address these issues just like how the Philippines did, just like how Cuba did it, just like Venezuela did. We could dream of a true Namibia, where the creed of land of the brave is felt by an everyday Namibian.
*Jefrey Shapange is a fourth-year Education student the University of Namibia. He serves as SRC for External Affairs.
Professor Peet Pienaaar, a weather forecaster based in South Africa, told Namibian Sun that the current rain was expected to continue until later this week.
“The rains are not over yet. I think you can still expect some good rains. If you look at the inflow of tropical air from the north, then it is likely that Namibia can expect rains this week, and later this month,” he said.
The rainy weather in many areas of Namibia is expected to continue until Friday, although it will be restricted to the far south on Friday, local weather forecasters say.
Chief weather forecaster Odillo Kgobetsi at the Windhoek weather bureau on Sunday says heavy to moderate rainfall is likely over most parts of Namibia today and tomorrow, except in the extreme southwest and the Zambezi, Kavango and Ohangwena regions.
On Thursday and Friday, mild to moderate showers are expected in the northwest, central and eastern regions of the country.
By the end of the week a cold front will reach the south, where minimum temperatures will drop close to 10 degrees and maximum temperatures will remain between 24 and 27 degrees.
On Thursday and Friday “frontal showers are possible in the far south”, Kgobetsi says.
On Saturday temperatures are expected to rise gradually in the south.
On Friday, the weather bureau recorded 50mm of rain at Tsumeb, more than 19mm at Okongo and 17mm at Omuthiya. Other areas that received rainfall included Windhoek, Oshakati, Outapi, Khorixas, Karasburg and Etosha National Park.
On Saturday, heavy rain fell in Windhoek, with 26mm reported in Wanaheda. Rundu, Sesfontein, Omaruru, Etosha National Park, Outjo and Outapi also recorded rainfall.
Gobabis is okay
Dams in the Omaheke Region remain low at 17% overall. The Otjivero main dam at Omitara is 27.2% full and the Otjivero silt dam 1.9%. The Tilda Viljoen Dam at Gobabis is 28.8% full and its twin, the Daan Viljoen Dam, is at 32.63%. Gobabis municipality spokesperson Frederick Ueitele recently assured residents that the water supply to the town was “secured beyond 2018”.
He said there was no need for alarm about the water situation at Gobabis, but the municipality was discussing possible water restrictions.
Ueitele said the town had access to more than 50 boreholes that could supply at least 120 000 cubic metres of water per month. The town's average monthly use is 85 000 cubic metres. He explained that the town's water reservoir was fed by the dams plus the boreholes.
The three central dams, Swakoppoort, Von Bach and Omatako, are on average 49.1% full.
The Swakoppoort Dam is at 38.6%, the Von Bach at 58.7% and the Omatako Dam at 53.7%l.
The small Friedenau Dam is 36% full and the Goreangab is more than 100% full.
In the south, the Hardap Dam is at 69.9% of capacity, the Naute at 97.7% and the Oanob Dam at 91.2%.
The Olushandja Dam outside Oshakati is 47.1% full.
The Namibian Time Bill was tabled in the National Assembly by the minister of home affairs, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, on 22 February. It was referred to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.
The minister's plea that the bill be approved before the first Sunday of April was rejected by lawmakers, who said they felt pressured and needed more time to give input.
The bill seeks to provide for a standard time for Namibia and would repeal the Namibian Time Act of 1994.
The meetings, which will begin tomorrow and run until 26 April, will be held with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, and the Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso).
Other stakeholders to be engaged include the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Namibia Employers' Federation (NEF) and the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).
The public will be engaged through meetings with civil society group Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations Forum (NANGOF) and the Namibian National Teachers Union (Nantu).
One of the main concerns highlighted is the safety of schoolchildren, especially those in rural and informal settlements who walk to and from school in the dark in winter.
Earlier public consultations revealed that businesses in Namibia lose four business hours daily because their main business partners are in South Africa, which remains on Central African Time during winter.
The driver of the other car, Jafet Amakutsi (44) also died instantly.
Both drivers were alone in the cars.
According to the police the accident occurred at approximately 01:00 yesterday morning, about 30km from Okahandja.
The chief spokesperson of the Namibian Police, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi, said the two vehicles collided head-on.
The minister's driver, who is also a police officer, was identified as Johny Lusiano.
This was the fifth crash involving a vehicle assigned to Ekandjo since 2012.
In October 2012 a car allocated to Ekandjo by Swapo rolled over after a tyre burst.
In 2013 there was another accident involving his official vehicle, again outside Okahandja.
In November 2014 Ekandjo's official car was involved in an accident about 30km from Okahandja on the road to Hochfeld, again attributed to a burst tyre. Ekandjo was not in the car at the time. The three occupants were a police officer, his assistant and a cattle herder. Warrant Officer Kauluma Moses Kambonde (52) died upon arrival at the Okahandja hospital.
These accidents were followed by another one in 2015 in the Otavi District and another accident in 2016 in the Kavango West Region.
In March 2007, a six-year-old child identified as Simson Kummy Umati died after he was hit by Ekandjo's ministerial Volvo sedan on the Western Bypass road near Windhoek's Northern Industrial Area.
Rodney Shaningua is accused of murdering Ronni Uolevi, 42, at around 00:30 in August 2015. He allegedly fired nine shots at Uolevi's car.
Uolevi died instantly outside a popular hangout spot in Windhoek's Southern Industrial Area.
In his plea explanation Shaningua claimed that he had acted in self-defence and that his action was lawful under the circumstances.
“I had to fire shots at the deceased to repel an unlawful attack which had then commenced and was threatening my life,” Shaningua said in the plea explanation, read by his lawyer, Slysken Makando.
He alleged that Uolevi had bumped his car and when he disembarked to discuss the accident, Uolevi reversed his car and began driving towards him at what he perceived to be a high speed.
“I could hear the sound of revs of his car and tyres while he was driving towards me. As a result I was overwhelmed by fear of being bumped or killed by him and I subsequently pulled my pistol from my waist, cocked it and began shooting in the direction of his vehicle,” Shaningua said.
Shaningua admitted the date and place of the incident, the identity of the deceased, and that he had shot the deceased with his pistol and caused his death.
The trial continues before Judge Christie Liebenberg. Karin Engelbrecht is the prosecutor.
An urgent application by the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), seeking to interdict the inauguration of a new senior headman, has irked some community members.
At the centre of the storm is Ester Gwashamba Nepando, who was recently named as the new senior headman of Uukwanambwa District, replacing Wilbard Lidker, who was fired in February.
However, the Uukwanambwa community members staged a peaceful demonstration and marched from Onamungudo to the Oniipa Constituency offices where they handed a petition to Oshikoto regional governor Henock Kankoshi.
The urgent application was filed in the Windhoek High Court on 27 March, with the matter set to be heard sometime this week.
A meeting by the Ondonga King’s Council last month resolved that the appointment of Nepando as a senior councillor was illegal and not procedural.
The traditional authority is alleging that the firing of Lidker was forced upon King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas by his wife Secilia and the Ondonga village headman, Oscar Sheehama.
According to members of the King’s Council, Nepando’s appointment of was not done in consultation with the traditional authority.
This prompted them to approach the High Court with an urgent application to halt the inauguration.
The OTA is represented by Sisa Namandje.
Nepando, the king’s wife Secilia, Sheehama, and urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa are listed as respondents.
King Elifas is also listed as a respondent in the matter – which appears to have irked supporters of Nepando. They feel that the OTA is being disrespectful by dragging the king’s name into the matter.
Reading the petition was Onandjamba village headman Jerry Kambala, who demanded Kankoshi’s urgent intervention in the matter.
“We demand that the governor must work out modalities within the jurisdiction of his office in this respect of this embarrassing situation to restore Ondonga pride. We are also demanding that the inauguration of the new senior councillor for Uukwanambwa District must go ahead,” the petition reads.
The group also demanded Kankoshi’s assistance to make sure that the current OTA leadership was suspended and the office was closed.
“OTA rebellious councillors must be suspended with immediate effect to pave the way for objective internal investigation in order to unearth the root cause of these developments. The King [should] also recall the so-called King’s appointed representative who now seems to be in the pocket of the rebellious OTA councillors,” the petition continues.
Kankoshi promised the group that he would channel their petition to the relevant office.
“I have received your petition, but you must remember that this matter is with the court,” Kankoshi said.
For their part, the OTA said they had not been informed of the demonstration and had not seen the petition, so they could not comment.
However, on the issue of the court application the OTA said they felt that Lidker was not fired procedurally.
“It appeared that Lidker was fired based on a criminal case against him, of which he was not found guilty. Why wouldn’t they wait until the court pronounced itself on him, and why are they rushing to replace him without consultation of OTA?” the authority questioned.
Earlier this year Nampa reported that King Elifas had fired Lidker because of allegations that he had tried to set the bedroom of his ex-girlfriend on fire at Omutsegonime village.
According to the OTA there was no disciplinary hearing before Lidker was dismissed.
Experts say what they expect from President Geingob’s State of the Nation Address tomorrow.
Namibians expect President Hage Geingob to deliver a State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week that gives a frank, clear and fact-filled review of the country’s current situation as well as progress on the implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) over the past year.
During the 2016 SONA, Geingob announced the HPP, which analysts say allowed him to avoid an honest discussion of the nation’s situation at the time.
“This SONA will surely be less bombastic than last year, when the president unveiled his new plan. Last year, he spent so much time on explaining the plan that his speech was light on details about the actual state of the nation,” says Maximilian Weylandt, a researcher at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
DTA parliamentarian Nico Smit says the president “gave us no assessment of the situation” last year and instead launched the HPP.
“Therefore, and especially considering the current economic situation in Namibia, it is essential that the president fulfil his constitutional duty to brief the Namibian nation on the state of development,” Smit says.
“There is a need for President Geingob to provide the Namibian nation with hard facts and figures when accounting for the state of governance and service delivery in the country over the past 12 months.”
Economist and senior Unam lecturer Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu says while the SONA should provide a clear direction on a number of pressing issues, it could also serve as a valuable platform for the president to “reassure the nation that despite the difficult times that our economy is going through, and is going to face post RSA downgrade, government is still in control and there is no need to panic.”
Although many have praised the introduction of the HPP as an invaluable tool to help the nation achieve critical goals, Kakujaha-Matundu says he would score the progress on its implementation at one out of ten.
He says the low score is not entirely because of government failures, but that the HPP was launched “at a very unfortunate time, when the economy is faltering and strict austerity measures have to be introduced”.
He says that even in the absence of formal data it appears that the HPP has not led to substantial results and that not much has happened in terms of implementation.
Examples include the ‘war on poverty’, which has been bogged down by poor implementation and planning, and slow progress on youth enterprises.
Smit says although the mid-year review of the HPP last year painted a positive picture, the subsequent spending cuts introduced by the government have likely affected implementation since then.
In particular, Smit says that considering the austerity measures, “one has to wonder whether those doing the planning and development of the HPP did any scenario planning and whether the weakening of the economic situation was seriously considered”.
IPPR’s Weylandt says although the HPP implementation “seems to be a bit of a mixed bag”, few of the targets have failed outright and a number of targets were added later.
“But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some timelines in the plan were rather optimistic and I think most Namibians would prefer a thorough implementation after some time, rather than a rush job.”
He adds that it is important for Geingob to review the plan in his address, and to state what areas could improve. “This would show a commitment to the accountability the plan promises.”
Kakujaha-Matundu warns that the economic situation should not be used as an excuse to slow down progress on all issues.
“I don’t think we need money to curb corruption, which siphons funds from much-needed projects such as hospitals and schools. Thus there is much that the HPP can achieve without a lot of money.”
Poverty, education, health, and land remain top priorities, the experts agree, and these should be addressed in the SONA, especially in view of the economic constraints.
“The pressing issues are the same they have always been – high unemployment and a lack of housing and land, reflected in huge levels of inequality,” Weylandt says.
He says the president should include “bold ideas for dealing with these problems” during the address.
According to Kakujaha-Matundu, the most pressing issues facing the country right now are slow economic growth, high unemployment, poverty and the issue of land.
He adds that the president should talk about education reform and how budgeting will be prioritised to ensure that changes to the school curriculum remain on schedule.
He says the downgrade in South Africa credit raging will affect Namibia and the president should look at ways to restructure the economy. The reparation talks with Germany remain high on the agenda, the economist adds.
Smit agrees that the economic situation is a primary concern because it determines the way the government will be able to execute its development plans.
Another issue is the dialogue about land reform and the second national land conference, for which no date has been set.
Education, housing and healthcare are crucial issues that need immediate attention and rectification, he says.
“However, the sad truth is that there has almost never been a time in independent Namibia where these have not been a cause for concern, as such their deteriorating status has become the new normal,” Smit says.
A resident of the Katutura Old Age Home extended his hand and donated various items, including clothing and blankets, to a Windhoek family who recently lost everything in a shack fire.
Johannes Luendi told Namibian Sun that he, too, had lost everything in a shack fire in 2013 and had since then developed a soft heart for those similarly afflicted.
The 83-year-old said he liked to keep up with current affairs by reading newspaper and that was how he found out about the shack, belonging to Betuel Moses and Vistoline Kgobetsi, which burned to the ground when their son, 7, accidentally tripped over a candle at bedtime.
“Everything I had burnt to ashes. I am very familiar with the pain they are going through. When I have more than I need, I like help people,” said Luendi.
The parcels containing the clothes, blankets and other items were collected by Kgobetsi’s mother Erna, as neither she nor Moses have replaced their cellphones that were destroyed in the fire.
Ousie Erna said the couple had received mattresses and blankets from the City of Windhoek.
According to her, only Kgobetsi has a job as a volunteer which brings in the little she can for her family.
“It’s really humbling to have an elder help them like this. We are grateful for his kindness and compassion. It’s rare to find people like him,” she said.
She added that any help was welcome, especially clothes for the children, including school uniforms.
The family has only been able to rebuild one bedroom from what was left of their home as they cannot afford to remodel their house completely.