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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Fitch rates Namibia AAA
  • Fitch rates Namibia AAAFitch rates Namibia AAARating relative to that of SA's national rating scale Fitch's negative outlook on Namibia still lingers despite an upgrade in creditworthiness on the South African rating scale, while long-term debt remains affirmed at BBB-. Fitch Ratings has upgraded Namibia's national rating on the South African scale to AAA from AA+. Despite the upgrade, Fitch's outlook remains negative. Fitch has also upgraded Namibia's senior unsecured bonds rated on the national scale to AAA from AA+.

    Fitch affirmed Namibia's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at BBB- and revised the outlook to negative on 2 September 2016.

    The latest upgrade follows the downgrade of South Africa's long-term local-currency IDR to 'BB+' from 'BBB-' on 7 April 2017, Fitch said in a statement.

    “Namibia's national rating is sensitive to Namibia's sovereign rating as well as South Africa's sovereign rating. A change in Fitch's assessment of either Namibia or South Africa's credit quality would result in a change in Namibia's national rating,” said Fitch.

    With the possibility of a downgrade still lingering, Fitch had in the past expressed concern at the Namibian government's failure to narrow the fiscal deficit, which had led to a continued rise in the government's debt to GDP ratio that almost peaked at 45%, a deterioration in economic growth and failure to narrow the current-account deficit that had, in turn, also led to a drawdown in international reserves.

    Moody's has not commented on Namibia's creditworthiness yet following the downgrade of South Africa's.

    Moody's had the past affirmed Namibia at Baa3 on its rating scale, similar to that of Fitch, while its outlook for Namibia is also negative.


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    SME owners urged to empower their communitiesSME owners urged to empower their communities Small and medium enterprise (SMEs) owners have been encouraged to empower communities through employment.

    The regional councillor for the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency, Christopher Likuwa, says this could be done by expanding their businesses and employing residents of the area.

    Likuwa was speaking at the handover of equipment by the Khomas Regional Council's employment-creation programme on Friday.

    Machinery, computers, sewing machines and other equipment worth about N$250 000 were handed over to 21 SME owners from the constituency.

    “We see the need of the people in our communities, hence much effort is emphasised to fight unemployment by assisting those who are trying to be self-reliant and creating jobs for others,” said Likuwa.

    The 21 beneficiaries were selected from 500 applicants who had applied for the same donation in May last year.

    The programme assists economic activities ranging from panel-beating to shoemaking, carpentry, bakeries, catering, salons, tailors, construction, welding, car mechanics, printing and beading.

    The Khomas regional council has supported more than 150 SME projects since 2012 in the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency alone.

    The owner of the Etemo Youth Project, Samuel Shatipamba, was one of the beneficiaries who received woodwork and welding equipment.

    Shatipamba started his business in 2011 to help school dropouts in his neighbourhood in the Ombili informal settlement. About 300 school dropouts have benefited from the project.

    Another beneficiary, Martha Frans, said she would be able to employ someone in her community now that she had her own computer and printer.

    “In the past, I used to borrow my friend's computer and printing machine to earn an income by making copies and typing curricula vitae for people,” said Frans.

    Frans said having her own computer meant she could work flexible hours and make more money.


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: GIPF studies MTC deal
  • GIPF studies MTC dealGIPF studies MTC dealStill to make investment decision The government announced its intention to acquire MTC's remaining share capital from SAMBA in December 2016. The Government Institutions Pension Fund is negotiating the acquisition of the remaining shares in Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), says GIPF spokesperson Daylight Ekandjo.

    Information minister Tjekero Tweya announced the government's intention to acquire 33% of MTC from SAMBA in December 2016.

    Finding itself in a financial conundrum, the government turned to the GIPF to fund the transaction.

    “We are in talks that could see GIPF acquiring a substantial shareholding in MTC. This process will follow a due diligence to determine if we want to buy the shares which will be based on merit.

    “Furthermore, GIPF is required under pension fund regulations to invest locally, and a potential investment in MTC could help us in fulfilling that objective. We are also of the opinion that MTC would be a good investment,” Ekandjo said.

    “We are evaluating all options. We have to form an opinion on what a fair price for such an acquisition would be, compare that to what price the shareholding is offered to us, and then decide whether it is worth pursuing. At this point no decision to invest has yet been made.”

    Breaking the news of the government's planned acquisition, Tweya said: “Cabinet took note of the progress made with regard to the buyback of the 34% foreign-owned shares in Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTC). Cabinet endorsed the Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings (NPTH) decision to obtain confirmation of the legal rights of SAMBA to act on behalf of Africatel B.V., before the transaction will be negotiated further.

    “Cabinet approved NPTH and MTC to devise a strategy to safeguard the future operation of MTC by way of acquiring a technical partner which is not necessarily a shareholder.”

    Finance minister Calle Schlettwein said at a press conference in December that the government did not dictate to the GIPF what to do with its money. “There is a notion that government has its hands on the kitty of the GIPF. We cannot dictate to the GIPF what to do with its money,” he said.


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    Using discipline to produce resultsUsing discipline to produce resultsInvesting in learners' moral values Gammams Primary School credits its good academic performance to the good behaviour of their learners, and parental involvement. The Zone caught up with the staff and learners of Gammams Primary School to find out what their recipe for success is for the school's day-to-day operations and running. “We are a very committed and morally-driven school,” says the principal Batseba Kaimu.

    Kaimu maintains that learners at Gammams Primary School are very disciplined admitting that the school has dealt with learners going to the bottle store in the proximity of the school in the past. “Because there are bottle stores in the area of the school we have dealt with learners making use of liquor but that is in the past. We got parents and education inspectors involved to help these learners and we do not experience this problem anymore,” said Kaimu.

    The school has put in place disciplinary strategies in order to promote discipline by awarding well-behaved learners on a monthly basis. “We award learners for good behaviour and attitudes every month,” Kaimu said. The school also invites life coaches more often to talk to learners on various subjects including the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

    Despite not being challenged as far as discipline is concerned, Gammams Primary School faces challenges with the scarcity of resources – as most schools do. “The budget cuts in education have affected almost every stakeholder in education and Gammams Primary School is no exception,” said Kaimu.

    She explained that with the Universal Primary Education Fund parents have withdrawn from supporting the school and supporting learners with stationery because they believe that the government is providing the school with these resources. Kaimu added that the government has a scarcity of resources and that it is going to be difficult to convince parents to realise the budget cuts and contribute something to the school again, as they used to in the past.

    “It will take a long time to convince parents to support schools again,” she said.

    The principal maintains that the money that is being allocated to the school is not adequate to fund the school's operations.

    Despite these challenges the school has been talking to parents, informing them that the money the school is receiving from the government is not enough and parents have been responding positively to this call. “We have parents that want the best for their kids so we are sure they will do it for them,” said Kaimu.

    Hileni Mwakondange, a teacher that has been at the school for 16 years attributes the successes of Gammams to team work and dedication. She maintains that Gammams Primary School is a school that has a dynamic management and staff and that it is a school that strives for the best results of their learners by rendering quality education. “We are committed to uplift educational standards in this country and we want to make a difference,” said Mwakondange.

    On the budget cuts, Mwakondange explained that the good thing is that parents are aware of the country's economic situation. “They see it and read about it in different media outlets,” Mwakondange said.

    The teacher also added that at Gammams Primary School they have had phase meetings with parents to inform them about the budget cuts in education and have asked the parents to come on board. “They know that it is beneficial to the education of their kids and they have responded positively,” said Mwakondange.

    Head girl Jurien van Wyk speaks highly of the teachers at the school stating that the school has hard-working teachers that teach them how to be disciplined, share what they have and help those that are in need. “Our teachers are very hard-working and they only not groom us academically but also instil moral values in us,” she said.

    Head boy Muhuure Mireti also maintains that teachers of Gammams Primary School are very helpful. “We have hard-working teachers who want to see us perform well and they encourage us to do well in school,” said Mireti.


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: What is depression really?
  • What is depression really?What is depression really? Mental health is a disease, and we all seem to neglect these problems until we lose a loved one to suicide and then we just have a bunch of questions.... Why? How it happened - because he or she was happy. Were they?

    Sure, sadness is one of the symptoms of depression but it has to do with a lot more than just that. Statistics show that depression affects more than 15 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the US population over 18. In Australia, it's estimated that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around a million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety... and I could go on. But the point I'm trying to make here is that this is swept under the carpet in our own country....

    With very few diagnosed with depression, many don't even know it's a “thing”. Some people say they are depressed but do we really understand what they mean? Anyone can feel sadness, and despite how bad it may seem, it may be just that... sadness. With depression there's more than just sadness. There's a void and a numbness. It affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Sometimes it keeps you up at night. You could be in a room full of people, and still feel alone. Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood. It is now recognised as occurring in children and adolescents, although it sometimes presents with more prominent irritability than low mood. So how do you know if you're just sad or if you're truly depressed?

    Do you think you are depressed? Seek professional help. You are not alone even if it may seem that way. Don't let this unexplainable emotion get the best of you. Don't allow it to isolate you from your interests, what and who you love. If someone were to open up to you about their feelings of depression, never say you've been sad too! Listen, because it's not the same. Sometimes you cannot tell a depressed person to think more positively, or that the solution is simply self-love. Would you believe it if you were the depressed one? There are only one of two things a depressed person does. They either admit they have a problem and seek help... or turn to suicide. Many depressed people do not seek help because of myths and stigma. This has to end.

    *Grace Angula is busy with a Bachelor's in Microbiology and is in her first year


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: A blessing in disguise
  • A blessing in disguiseA blessing in disguise After things did not go according to plan, Sonia Ashipala now loves her choice of career and is in her final year of nursing.

    Finishing high school was exciting, but I didn't know what awaited me in varsity. Initially I had always wanted to do medicine or dentistry, but after high school things didn't really go as planned. I did not apply for either of them, I applied for nursing because I know it's related to medicine. I knew nothing about nursing, but what I have learned in nursing is amazing.

    Seeing a woman deliver for the first time made me cry. I did not even notice that I was actually crying just felt tears running down my cheeks and I instantly asked to be excused. The site and smell of blood made me hate meat for I don't remember how long. It all seemed too much and unbearable, not to forget nurses constantly shouting at you each time you do something wrong or you ask for clarity on something they consider small… all these were challenges I faced as a first-year Unam nursing student.

    I remember how I would struggle to make a patient's bed and get goose bumps at the thought of putting up a drip or drawing blood. It was not an easy journey. Not being able to travel home over the holidays because of practicals made matters worse.

    I literally thought that nursing was something easy and I loved the uniform. But it is not easy. Nursing is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of time and energy and a whole lot of caring. Over the years I can proudly stand here and tell you that you need to be prepared both physically, mentally and emotionally. You need to be willing to go the extra mile just to put a smile on a patient's face. Nursing is a calling that only a few are prepared to take up. Nurses are fortunate enough to be the first persons who open a newborn's eyes and gently close those of a dying man. Every day you get to touch a life, or a life will touch you. No one said it was going to be easy but one thing I can assure you… it is worth it.

    *Sonia Ashipala is a final-year nursing student at Unam


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    Why a utopian society is impossibleWhy a utopian society is impossible A utopia is an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. It is a society free of poverty and suffering.

    It can be likened to a heaven where all inhabitants live in harmony and all needs of the subjects are met. Man has always been in pursuit of utopia. In fact every sensible human being and every government that truly cares about the welfare of its citizens aims to achieve utopia. The sad reality is that it can never be achieved - and I'm not being negative, just realistic. The way that our society and economies are set up makes it impossible for utopia to prevail. Talcott Parsons, an American sociologist explains it best with his theory of structural functionalism in which he argues that each aspect of society is inter-pendent and contributes to society's functioning as a whole. He philosophised that for a certain function of society to work, it must be affected by other factors no matter how bad those factors are. For example a society must live in disharmony for us to require the service of lawyers. There would be really no need for us to have lawyers if we all lived in harmony. Equally so, a doctor or an educational institution for repeaters cannot perform their respective duties if the action doesn't call for it. The police might be working towards the eradication of crime, but again the total eradication of crime will have drastic consequences on their welfare. The world economy is set up in such a manner in which some professions make an income out of negative deeds and the misfortunes of people, and this is totally against the concept of utopia. Secondly, human nature is an always an obstacle - human beings are naturally selfish and greedy. Some societies tried to solve this by implementing Marx's ideologies like communism and socialism where all subjects can be equal, but we all know how disastrous that is turning out to be in reference to widespread corruption in Russia and the ever-becoming capitalist China. Even though utopia is impossible, there is no reason why we shouldn't try to achieve a certain level of it. The absurdness of utopia must never be a reason for ignorance. The proletariat must always demand what is due to them from the bourgeoisie and we must always question and fight injustice to at least achieve a certain level of utopia.

    *Maximalliant Katjimune is the Nanso KREC secretary for political and internal affairs and a first-year Bachelor of Arts student at Unam


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Pizza and growth
  • Pizza and growthPizza and growth On 20 April I took part in a Facebook essay competition that was set up by two former high school seniors. This competition gave away free items including pizza. Imagine my excitement when I read a post where I could possibly win free items while doing something that I loved. I was beyond ecstatic.

    Much to my dismay my name appeared in the list of names that got thanked for taking part in the competition but not where the winner was announced. However as I continued to read I noticed that all the participants were invited over to Zach Kauraisa's house for free pizza, and there I was in front of the apartment door. I am the type of lady that would not miss free pizza even if it was my wedding day and I was running late.

    The people that ended up showing up really changed me.

    Having been about the night life, trust me when I tell you that this was different. A group of young ambitious people gathering over free pizza can change the atmosphere into that of pure soul food. From the passion in Donald Kariseb's eyes when he changed our topic of discussion into a debate lesson (I don't know how), to Heloise and her lesson on how an encountered hurdle entirely depends on whether you will let it determine who you are for the rest of your university life or whether you will change that set back into a distinction, I was moved. It was pure word magic how Abassier uses his accomplishments as proof that he will achieve nothing but greatness. I discovered how Zach has this obsession of living life to the fullest and not only grabbing the opportunities that come his way but create opportunities for others as well. I still find it absolutely absurd how a few hours of conversing with these people has changed my entire prospective on life. I learned that I should not wait to realise what I have until its almost taken away from me, that life can humble you when you least expect it. I was taught that growth should not only take place from your own mistakes, but you should grow from other peoples' mistakes and that cycles have to be broken in order to reach maximum potential. I personally believe that we all have different stories to tell, some might be a bit more clichéd than others but it is what you walk away with that determines the meaning it gives others.

    *Tia-Zia //Garoes is a first-year law student at Unam


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Homegrown lifesaver
  • Homegrown lifesaverHomegrown lifesaverNathan Zulu forms part of batch one for Namibia's own doctors A young doctor opens up about his experience thus far at ground zero the medical field and what plans he has for his future. Nathan Zulu is a young doctor who works at the Oshakati state hospital in the north. The Unam graduate believes for any doctor to make it in the medical field they should possess empathy and should value human life. “A good doctor has to be able to see beyond the disease process and view a client holistically, as an individual, who is part of a functioning society. For instance, a patient with a certain ailment may be the only breadwinner of the family and his or her incapacitation may go way beyond the bedside and trickle down to the children that are in school, to the workplace and eventually to an entire community,” said Zulu.

    For Zulu success is not equal to material possessions or the amount of money a person has in their back account. “I define success as impacting the world with the investment of your personality. In other words, one should work on being the driving force of positive change rather than work on having material gains,” shared Zulu.

    The medical doctor says the one thing that amazes and keeps him humble as a medical specialist is the hope and enthusiasm his patients have even though they are going through some difficulties. “It's always a great feeling seeing someone who was very ill finally smile and leave the hospital happy. But what I find more amazing are people who still continue to smile even when they fully understand that the prognosis of a certain ailment isn't so promising from a medical perspective. In as much as this evokes a sense of introspection, I find the cheerfulness healing to the heart,” shared Zulu.

    As a medical doctor, he says he has to put up with late nights and countless hours of research in order to perfect his knowledge and skills in the medical field. “A good doctor should be able to see this and take measures to prevent adverse outcomes; this may mean staying up at night to research on current and upcoming interventional measures of disease, motivating for rare resources like dialysis, and so on,” said Zulu.

    He continues saying the most frustrating and disappointing thing about being a medical doctor is that sometimes he cannot help his patients due to the seriousness of their ailment or the progress or the effects that a disease has on the patients. “It can get frustrating at times when you don't get the results or the response you hope for after an intervention, regardless of whether it's medical or surgical. And in certain cases, there is very little one can do either due to extensive disease progression, or a lack of resources,” said Zulu

    Zulu knows that his job is very important and even though the hours he works are very tiring, saving lives is the most important thing for him. “Another thing I find not so appealing are the long working hours as it can be very draining at times. Nevertheless, a long night is always worthwhile if a life is saved,” shared Zulu.

    Trained in Namibia as part of the first batch of medical graduates, Zulu says it is very daunting and sometimes being a locally-produced doctor comes with its pressures - but he has managed to overcome them. “I think there is always pressure from within to have a certain level of competency given that your decisions may be a matter of life and death at times. Additionally, as a pioneer I seek to be a good example to my juniors in terms of the level of knowledge, skills and professionalism I have,” says Zulu.

    The medical practitioner says the most fulfilling moment and one he will forever cherish is when he saved the life of a patient with a ruptured uterus. “The patient arrived in an unconscious state and after a quick assessment I realised she had ruptured her uterus during childbirth. I knew we had to act quickly and did so. To cut the story short, she survived and the rest is history. It was great to see her smile the next morning,” shared Zulu.

    He recalls the first time he went to the medical wards and says it was a poignant visit that had an impact on what he thought of as his career choice. “The first time I went to the wards was in my second year of medical school. It was a bittersweet experience in the sense that I was excited to be in this environment that I would be spending most of my life in but at the same time knew very little. I didn't understand some of the terminology used and it seemed like I was of little help to the personnel and was more like a nuisance,” shared Zulu.

    Zulu says he has always wanted to be a medical doctor and credits his father who is a nurse as one of the people who inspired him to become a doctor. “I have always wanted to do medicine ever since I can remember. The fact that my dad is a nurse probably has something to do with that. But that aside, I was so intrigued with how the human body functions both structurally and physiologically while in high school,” says Zulu. He says another reason why he wanted to be a medical doctor is because he loves working with people. “The interaction with people from different spheres of life is amazing and the privilege of being involved and helping make a difference in their lives is satisfying. Looking back, I wouldn't do anything different,” shared Zulu.

    Since the medical field is very broad Zulu has to major in a certain aspect. “I have learned that I can't be a jack of all trades as the medical field is too broad and will eventually have to specialise. I am thinking of specialising in Pathology or Urology,” shared Zulu.

    Shona Ngava

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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Capitalising on her senses
  • Capitalising on her sensesCapitalising on her sensesLiving off her passion Having a taste for the finer things in life, Anittha Gertze has decided to help everyone celebrate in style by decorating and providing catering services for big ceremonies. When you are able to use what you see to help to bring virtual concepts and goals to life while entertaining people and making money, you don't only know, but you are a mastermind. Anittha Gertze has managed to turn her passion of cooking and decorating into a business. She describes herself as someone that thrives in a happy environment and is driven by happiness and her desire for success. “My main aim in life is to see people happy because I believe happiness that comes from passion is contagious,” says Gertze.

    Gertze grew up in the dusty, quiet streets of Tses in the //Karas Region where she enjoyed the vast open spaces and sunsets on the Brukkaros mountain. “That experience taught me how to be caring, because in the community I grew up in everybody was family and we were taught to respect the elders, so good, strong moral values where instilled in me at an early age,” Gertze recalls.

    She started her catering and décor business three years ago.

    “A friend of mine was getting married and the person that was hired to do the décor backed out at the last minute.

    Because I am driven by happiness and wanted to see my friend happy I decided I was going to do it and that is where I started with the décor business,” said Gertze.

    She maintains that she did not know that she had a hidden talent for the finer details of décor and when she realised this about herself she hasn't looked back.

    “This is when I decided to turn my passion into a business,” she said.

    Gertze decided to venture into this industry because she loves cooking and her escape from stress and all other negative things is in her kitchen.

    “I find peace in my kitchen and cooking is like therapy for me,” says Gertze. She also believes cooking is second nature for every African girl and thus that is how she has combined décor with her kitchen to start her business ZG Investments.

    Gertze praises the Namibian décor and catering industry because in Namibia people in this industry are not threatened by the global competitors.

    “The good thing about it is everyone is trying to keep up with trends and everybody is willing to invest in this sector for it to grow,” says Gertze.

    She adds that the other good thing about Namibia is people can use the country's natural resources that are easily available to bring in the cultural element when decorating or when preparing food.

    “We combine the African element with the modern contemporary décor and the results are amazing,” she adds.

    Everybody is willing to invest in this sector and make it grow and the other thing good about our country is we can use our own resources that are easily available, to bring in the cultural element.

    “We combine the African element with the modern contemporary décor and the results are amazing,” she said.

    Just like any other trade Gertze is also faced with challenges. She highlights being a woman as one of the challenges in the business world, because business has always been regarded as a man's practice.

    She also points out her age as another challenge because the confidence that people have in what you do is sometimes defined by your age. “People always ask where I will get resources at my age and how will I execute my tasks,” says Gertze.

    Gertze maintains that she has not let these challenges stop her from pursuing her dreams and has managed to use her determination and focus to overcome these challenges. “We grow through challenges,” Gertze stated.

    She advises young girls that draw inspiration from her work to have passion for what they do and to be sensitive to the senses because decor is about senses.

    “You need to taste, see, touch and hear that your clients are happy,” Gertze said.

    She says that it should not just be a business venture but a passion where you need to be able to make people happy at the end of the day.

    Most importantly Gertze says one needs to know how to plan, execute and satisfy clients as well as know how to exceed expectations for your clients at all time. She maintains that people should be selfless and always want the best for other people by helping them

    Gertze concludes by stating that her business has taught her a lot of qualities in her that she did not know she had prior to launching her business.

    “My business has taught me so much about myself and I have grown as a person because of the lessons. I get to work with different people more often,” she said.


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Appreciate life
  • Appreciate lifeAppreciate life Life is a beautiful thing and there is so much in life to be grateful for… blessings like family and friends and just being on top of meeting your basic needs. Often and at times we get so caught up with school and work that we tend to forget to make time to just reflect and appreciate life.

    You have one face, one body and one life to appreciate; do not waste that life being unhappy about things you cannot change. If you have to fake it so be it… they say fake it until you make it and do not pay so much attention to your flaws, own them.

    I, for example, was not always the most confident and appreciative of what I have. I have struggled but self-actualisation books helped me realise that it does not get better than me for me. Over the years I have learned to appreciate the little that I have and have made it a norm to let the people in my life know how important they are to me, and, all in all, appreciate their contributions to my journey. Not everyone still has their families and friends so if you still have them appreciate them and tell them that you love them every day. Do not just tell them you love them but also show them this love that you have for them.

    It is very important that you appreciate what you have while working hard for things that your heart desires. Avoid peer pressure and do not let others make you do things that you are not comfortable with. Do things because you want to them and do not compromise your happiness.

    There is so much to be grateful for in life and as young people we should strive to cling to things that make us happy and that spread positivity. There is so much negativity going on in the world thus we should do our utmost best to make the world a better place. Appreciating life also entails being selfless and rendering help to those who need it. By doing this we will uplift others, thus making life more fun. You do not necessarily have to know people to help them when they indeed need your help.

    As young people we often take a lot of things in life for granted, things like having interests and appreciating your mother tongue. We tend to judge intelligence in others by evaluating how good their English is and have made it okay for people to not know their mother tongues. It is very important that you know your mother tongue and appreciate it. I am not saying you should be the Shakespeare of your mother tongue but know enough and appreciate your mother tongue by taking an interest in it.

    Moreover, as young people, our lives are always changing from one stage to the next and most of us do not take in the reasons to appreciate life in the moment. Many times, at whatever stage we are in or whatever stage we are currently in, we are always looking forward to the next one instead of being happy with where we are at. I am not saying you should not plan and look forward to your future but also make it a point to be happy where you are while shaping your future. There are many reasons to appreciate life instead of always looking to the future.

    You will never relive your current moment, even if you are going through a rough period currently. Appreciate the lessons that come with the situation that you are in because those lessons are preparing you for the future. Learn from your mistakes and use them as guidelines to do better should you find yourself in a similar situation again.

    Take time to appreciate the fact that you have food on your table and clean water to drink, far too often young people take for granted the fact that they have clean water and proper nutritious food available to them on a daily basis. Not everyone has access to these basic needs, so if you are fortunate enough to have them, appreciate them. Next time you feel like life sucks and you want to be different and be in a different place than you are right now, think of how blessed you are to have food and safe drinking water.



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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Somali pirates are back
  • Somali pirates are backSomali pirates are backFive year respite is over A resumption in attacks on commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden has led to American authorities warning that Somali pirates are back in action. Pirates have returned to the waters off Somalia, but the spike in attacks on commercial shipping does not yet constitute a trend, senior US officials said on Sunday.

    The attacks follow about a five-year respite for the region, where piracy had grown to crisis proportions during the 2010-2012 period, drawing the navies of the United States and other nations into a lengthy campaign against the pirates.

    US defence secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at a military base in the African nation of Djibouti, near the Gulf of Aden, that even if the piracy problem persists, he would not expect it to require significant involvement by the US military.

    At a news conference with Mattis, the commander of US Africa Command said there have been about six pirate attacks on vulnerable commercial ships in the past several weeks.

    "We're not ready to say there's a trend there yet," Waldhauser said, adding that he views the spurt of attacks as a response to the effects of drought and famine on the Horn of Africa.

    He said he was focused on ensuring that the commercial shipping industry, which tightened security procedures in response to the earlier piracy crisis, has not become complacent.

    Navy Captain Richard A. Rodriguez, chief of staff for a specially designated US military task force based in Djibouti, said piracy "certainly has increased" in recent weeks.

    But he said countering it is not a mission for his troops, who are focused on counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa and developing the capacities of national armies in Somalia and elsewhere in the region.

    Anti-piracy patrolling is among several missions China cited for constructing what it calls a naval logistics center in Djibouti. The base is under construction, and US officials say they don't see it as a major threat to interfere with American operations at Camp Lemonnier.

    Several other countries have a military presence on or near that US site, including France, Italy, Germany and Japan.

    This reflects Djibouti's strategic location at the nexus of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

    Mattis made a point of spending several hours in Djibouti during a week-long trip that has otherwise focused on the Mideast.

    As a measure of his concern for nurturing relations with the Djiboutian government, he flew four hours from Doha, Qatar, and then flew right back.

    At his news conference, Mattis praised Djibouti for having offered US access to Camp Lemonnier shortly after the September 11 attacks.

    "They have been with us every day and every month and every year since," he said.

    The US rotates a range of forces through Lemonnier and flies drone aircraft from a separate airfield in the former French colony. US special operations commandos are based at Lemonnier for counterterrorism missions in Somalia and elsewhere in the region.

    During Mattis' visit, elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, including V-22 Osprey aircraft and Harrier attack jets were visible on Lemonnier's airfield.

    The US military presence has grown substantially in recent years, as reflected by construction of a new headquarters building, gym, enlisted barracks and other expanded infrastructure.

    Djibouti has a highly prized port on the Gulf of Aden. The country is sandwiched between Somalia and Eritrea, and also shares a border with Ethiopia.

    Mattis is using the early months as defence secretary to renew or strengthen relations with key defence allies and partners such as Djibouti, whose location makes it a strategic link in the network of overseas US military bases.

    Djibouti took on added importance to the US military after 9/11, in part as a means of tracking and intercepting al-Qaeda militants fleeing Afghanistan after the US invaded that country in October 2001.

    The US has a long-term agreement with Djibouti for hosting American forces; that pact was renewed in 2014.

    Over the past week Mattis has met with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and Qatar.


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  • 04/24/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day RIOTS CONTINUE: A woman looks from a window as demonstrators shout during a protest against the result of the nationwide referendum that will hugely enhance the president Recep Erdogan powers at the Kadikoy district in Istanbul on 23 April 2017. Turkey's main opposition party launched a legal challenge at a top court on April 21 to last-minute changes to voting rules in the referendum that saw President Recep Tayyip Erdogan win expanded powers. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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    The ministry is guilty indeedThe ministry is guilty indeed Outrageous and emotionally violent to the learners, parents and guardians, was the abrupt closure of schools by the ministry of education last past week. It is a decision that leaves many wondering about the rationale behind the hasty closure of the schools and what priority it serves as it should be more valuable than the lives and safety of the learners - especially the primary school learners in boarding schools. For a ministry that champions reason and logic to prevail among learners, it is ironic that the decision to close schools at such short notice comes from the same institution headed by reputable intellectuals. Whatever purpose that decision was meant to serve, cannot be equalled or exceed the safety of the children throughout the country that were left destitute and vulnerable as they travelled back home without their parents or guardians. The national broadcaster NBC's Saturday evening news coverage, showed young unaccompanied children struggling to board the train in Keetmanshoop and others sitting by the roadside, clips that can tug at the hearts of good people - people with a conscience and genuine parental love. Where thou art government's compliance to Unicef's engrained children's rights and other rights that this country is signatory to and has vowed to honour and obey? The Namibian Constitution's Article 15 reads in part: “Children are entitled to be protected from economic exploitation… or to interfere with their education, or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development.” The ministry has violated this fundamental children's right that we have authored and adopted to protect our children. For a ministry that is headed by mothers, and we are certain President Hage Geingob made these appointments believing this children-centred ministry could be best managed by women – the decision is disappointing, to say the least. If the gender and child welfare ministry prosecutes parents and guardians for neglecting children in accordance with the infringement of the rights of our children, why can't the same gun be pointed at the ministry of education for making such an apathetic decision?

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    Prosecutor appeals bail denialProsecutor appeals bail denial A state prosecutor allegedly involved in a fraudulent scam to the tune of N$280 000 is appealing against the Magistrate's Court's refusal to grant him bail.

    Ivan Tjizu, 30, who has been in custody since his arrest in December last year by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) maintains the magistrate erred in facts and law when refusing to grant him bail early this year.

    He is accused of involvement in a scam in which witness fees were falsely claimed and paid out at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

    Tjizu is being charged with three counts under the Anti-Corruption Act and one charge in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. He is accused of allegedly and corruptly used an office or position for gratification, corruptly used a false document, and is further also accused of conspiracy to commit offences under the Anti-Corruption Act, and racketeering.

    It is alleged he obtained the money by making misrepresentations that witnesses had travelled from places outside Windhoek to testify.

    The state further alleges that witness fees were paid out to people who were allegedly arranged to pose as witnesses and Tjizu is claimed to have received a part of the money, the ACC stated.

    He yesterday argued in his appeal that the magistrate misconstrued the facts in his bail application.

    He said it was ruled that he did not give a satisfactory explanation about a N$200 e-wallet from his phone to a cell number which he said he couldn't remember. He added that the issue was only brought to him during the proceedings.

    According to Tjizu it is wrong for the court to accept the state's assertion that he will interfere with or influence state witnesses as they are unknown to him.

    Judge Christie Liebenberg observed that the main reason his bail application was refused in the Magistrate's Court was that the investigation into the matter was not finalised as new evidence and witnesses are constantly coming up. Under such circumstances the possibility of his interference with the state witnesses could not be ruled out.

    Tjizu argued the state cannot arrest him and only thereafter conclude its investigation.

    “I had known about the state's investigation for about three months before I was arrested. I was informed by the control prosecutor at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court about it. Why would I now interfere with investigations risking bail if I am granted?” he argued.

    He maintained that when there is fear of interference appropriate bail conditions should be imposed.

    “It was a fatal misdirection from the learned magistrate to refuse bail on the fear of interference,” Tjizu argued and requested the court to consider granting him bail.

    State advocate Dominic Lisulo argued that the issue of pending investigations and fear of interference was reasonable.

    He further said a list containing documents found in Tjizu's house had connection with the police investigation.

    “The magistrate was entitled to consider the possibility of interference as the offences were committed during the execution of his duties. The decision of the magistrate to refuse bail was properly taken,” Lisulo argued and emphasised that there is a prima facie case against the appellant.


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    Judiciary sets record straightJudiciary sets record straightIrked at allegation made on petition to its offices In a statement, the Namibian judiciary has set the record straight on allegations published that were made in a petition to its offices earlier in April. The office of the judiciary has strongly condemned numerous allegations made by a group of fishermen and former miners contained in a petition that was reported on roughly two weeks ago.

    In a statement issued over the weekend, the spokesperson for the office of the judiciary, Yvette Hüsselmann, responded to an article published in Namibian Sun on 12 April, which quoted a number of serious allegations the group made in the petition, against members of the judiciary and others.

    “The Office of the Judiciary considers these allegations in a serious light because they are defamatory, without any foundation and baseless,” the statement said.

    The article did not contain comment from the Office of the Judiciary or the Ministry, following the handing over of the petition that day.

    The statement noted that “the office of the judiciary implores the media to approach our public relations office for comments on any allegation brought against members of the judiciary, in order to verify the facts before publication.”

    The newspaper quoted some of the allegations made in the petition, which was handed over to officials at the High Court, Supreme Court and labour ministry about two weeks ago.

    The group who drew up the petition and handed it over consisted of members of United Fishermen of Namibia as well as former miners employed at the Tsumeb Corporation, with the support of the Workers Revolution Party.

    The allegations included allegations of corruption and bribery within the justice system, and allegations that litigants who came before court were treated in an undignified manner.

    The petition included allegations that a judge who had presided in a matter pertaining to the fishermen had abused his office.

    In the statement, Hüsselmann said that the office can “assure the people of Namibia that the judiciary respects the dignity of every person as contemplated in Article 8 of the constitution.”

    She underlined that “the members of the Namibian judiciary ascribe to the highest ethical standards, and act in accordance with those standards,” the statement read.

    The statement cautioned that the allegations contained in the petition, which were quoted in the article, “have the potential to undermine and tarnish the integrity and independence of the Namibian judiciary.” It further noted that “significantly, all persons aggrieved by the decisions and conduct of the members of the Namibian judiciary have appeal or review remedies available to them to challenge decisions taken by judges and with which they are unhappy.”

    Hüsselmann, on behalf of the office, said a request for comment before publication “will not only ensure balanced reporting by journalists, but be fair to the members of the Namibian judiciary who otherwise are unable to defend themselves in the media against any allegation by virtue of the office they hold.”


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    ‘I think (others cannot think) therefore I am (others are not)’ ‘I think (others cannot think) therefore I am (others are not)’ There is a discourse that has occupied Afrocentric scholars for a while now. It is a discourse of decoloniality. This discourse is very expensive in Namibia. You simply do not find it taking centre stage as is the case in other African countries and in South Africa in particular. In South Africa, the decolonial discourse has even led to the closure of universities and the altering of some aesthetics that have characterised zones and places of learning for close to 100 years. Unfortunately, this has not taken place in Namibia. At both Unam and Nust, there are hardly any features of decolonial discourse. There is a small dose of decolonial discourse in the departments of sociology and politics but without a national and collective appeal. Why the discourse is not taking shape in Namibia is an interesting puzzle. It is such a shame that the failure of academics has left students with no choice but to go it alone. In the discourse of devolvement the African imagination is left at the periphery. Professions such as architecture and town planning have no respect for African architecture. Solutions to social problems do not factor in African knowledge systems to social problems. What is left is what decolonial scholars have remixed the western philosophical construct from; ‘I think therefore I am’ to ‘I think (others cannot think) therefore I am (others are not)’.

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    Revamping methods for developmentRevamping methods for development *Nghili Sakaria Kaukungua recently graduated with a Diploma in Local Government at the University of Namibia where he is continuing with his Bachelor’s degree By: Nghili Sakaria Kaukungua

    The skillful guidance of conducting the profile of townships that can cater to the needs of modern society and the future generation appears to lack almost detrimentally in terms of its visual aspect. Many regions within the country are poorly mapped and are still expected to undergo modernisation. Some concealed outlooks that I feel may be important to address are the levels of the mark towards modernization. At what particular relation should all the regions of the country possess an equitable receipt of information and access to land, as well as the methods used for boundary demarcation?

    In an African set up, the decolonisation of Africa was a priority for the UN (as a means of development) during the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, the development of the continent has become the priority. The UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to substantial progress, but much more work needs to be done before the hopes of the people of Africa can be fulfilled.

    The United Nations continues to work through the MDGs to strengthen Africa. Progress has been made towards the attainment of many of the MDGs, in particular those on education, gender equality and the empowerment of women and combating HIV/Aids and other diseases. Many challenges remain for Africa, including controlling the spread of the Ebola virus, which, if not contained, could negatively impact Africa's development. Significant progress has been made towards consolidating peace and security in Africa, and strengthening its democratic institutions. But tremendous work will have to be done before Africa is truly secure and at peace.

    With the completion of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN is now working with Africa to chart a development path to a more sustainable future. It is cooperating with the African Union, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the regional economic communities who developed the African Agenda 2063, a transformative 50-year development agenda initiated in 2013. To help Africa achieve more sustainable development goals, institutional support has been provided by the United Nations to the High-level Committee of African Heads of State and Government on the Post-2015 Agenda, especially in the formulation of a common African position.

    In Namibia, it is very transparent when recognising the importance of national management of the environment and its resources. The demarcation of land in the towns within each of the 14 regions has been and should be able to continue to emulate ideas of sustainable development for a modern society. Keeping a collection of information pertaining to landed property which serves as the groundwork for land accessibility, is a proper system for a country like Namibia to thrive in business. Future disputes over land ownership should be minimised if not eliminated, and instead substituted with a more well-equipped or well-suited Land Administrative approach of Systematic Land Titling and Registration for its intended role or purpose.

    Namibia is one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the world, so of course there is a means to direct our development status to one that can engage with tourists and allure their interests to invest in our economy. However, an undertaking of chance should not hinder the progression of human capital within our country. We still need to focus on acquiring the necessary skills and the knowledge on matters that are relevant to national development. Education is fundamental towards the increase of human capital, it is fundamental towards the understanding of how better to set the mark for modernisation in Namibia, it is fundamental towards obtaining the firsthand knowledge of the state. Subsequently, the people of the country should understand more about what is going on in their own country than what foreign globetrotters do. This will eventually pave the way for educated students to enter the workforce and take the initiative to emulate anticipated concepts for development from their own innovative ideas. In this sense, education is a key factor for revamping development procedures.

    As the regions continue to grow, new facilities are introduced and the outlook of the towns begin to expand much to the solicitation of the needs of the masses. But because Namibia is a developing country we need to consider the adhesive appearance among all the 14 regions. If the goal is to modernise every town or city in each region to a similar standard as that of the capital we must adjust the layout of the towns as you enter the town and exit toward the next town, focusing on the essence of what is absolutely necessary for every town. Every town needs access to nearby hospitals. Every town must construct sufficient housing, access to better quality education systems including vocational training. and access to safety and security centres. There must be provision of clean water for every town from a sufficient water source, the welcoming billboards of a town should be placed no further than three kilometers from entering a town. Cemeteries are a basic necessity in any society and should be placed in a respective location within a town away from the entrance of the town to sustain a more appealing look for the town. These are some incitements towards strategic planning of towns to possess the necessary features once developed.

    Windhoek is overpopulated, and the lack of modernisation in other various towns does provoke the migration of people from rural areas to the city. If methods to reconstruct every town can be implemented, this will surely create a more consolidated society and improve social intercourse among the regions of the country, causing local inhabitants to make themselves relevant in a society that can use them.

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    Emotional intelligence in combating GBVEmotional intelligence in combating GBV By: Patience Masua

    An often neglected issue when addressing gender-based violence (GBV), especially within the Namibian context, is emotional intelligence. It is important to understand the vital role that it plays in victims reporting cases and sometimes withdrawing cases but more importantly, the prevention of them falling into the same vicious trap of either returning to those abusive relationships or entering yet another such abusive relationship fails.

    I will be addressing two major drawbacks which significantly hinder the progressiveness of movements aiming at curbing gender-based violence namely, patriarchy and dependency as a result of social structures. It is nothing new that in our beloved motherland, men have predominantly been superior to their female counterparts. In as much as there has been progress and empowerment for women politically and economically, much less has been achieved domestically. This is of particular concern as this directly links to the abovementioned issues when it comes to combating GBV. Many women, particularly in less developed areas, but also even in the most advanced areas of our country, still implicitly subvert to the authority of their male counterparts, as a result of social or traditional structures which have been in place for as long as we can remember. The problem with this is that in many instances it is used to condone GBV.

    The superiority is not the primary concern, but it becomes problematic when women are abused both physically and emotionally. Moreover, because this has been instilled in our women for so long, they buy into this idea, merely because they feel like that is the way it is supposed to be (they know no other way, they have been raised this way with their mothers or other female role models telling them it is in order), or because they are being made feel that they deserve such treatment, on the basis that they did something wrong. Furthermore, a great deal of emotional blackmail is often attached to abusive relationships and the acceptance women want from their partners prevent them from reporting abuse. This has led to many gender-based violence cases going unreported and women suffering in silence. The flaw in our legal system is that it does not cater for third parties reporting this type of violence and related cases as the victims “want” to stay in these abusive relationships and simply end up withdrawing these matters. Secondly, the idea of dependency as result of social structures persists. Many women, as a result of patriarchy, still find themselves in marriages or relationships where their abusers are the breadwinners and provide for them (and) their children. And sadly, many children find themselves in families (because of the birth lottery system) where their abusers are their fathers or stepfathers, who financially provide for the family. It is unfortunate that in these cases, especially, many women and children live lavish or even simply standard lives and are forced to do so at the expense of their dignity. Yet still, as a Namibian society we are still quick to blame women for the withdrawal of cases or them returning to the very abusive relationship they wanted to escape from in the first place.

    It is more likely for an uneducated Namibian woman to suffer in silence knowing that her children will be cared for, than to have her dignity and not have food to feed her children. It is also more likely for a child to stay silent, out of respect for their fathers or merely because he/she definitely will not have a home after reporting the father, or will only be abused even more, because of the report made to the authorities. It is imperative that alongside all the other efforts to combat gender-based violence, we integrate a system in which victims are emotionally educated to be able to make the initial decision to willingly report their case. They need to be fully prepared for the consequences, so as not fall back into the trap of abuse. Equally important, implementing structures (specifically educational and vocational structures) dealing with victims who have successfully reported and escaped abusive relationships, which will deter victims from returning to their perpetrators on the basis of dependency. This sense of security will then allow women the ability to more easily escape relationships of an abusive nature, knowing that they are not in any position to sacrifice their dignity because of social structures. In addition, women need to be ridded of the perceived superiority of men and in doing so, escape the emotional blackmail which is attached to abuse. Let not poverty be an excuse for gender-based violence. Let not patriarchy be an excuse to perpetuate gender-based violence. Let us educate our women academically but equally, let’s educate them emotionally and kill another obstacle in our way of fighting gender-based violence.

    *Patience Masua is first-year Bachelor of Law (Honours) student at the University of Namibia

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    Third bail attempt by Kai RustThird bail attempt by Kai Rust A third attempt at being granted bail will today be heard by the Regional Court in Windhoek in the case of murder accused Kai Rust, who has been behind bars for more than a year after the killing of a suspected poacher on his farm in the Okahandja district.

    The court yesterday adjourned until today to allow the defence and prosecution to discuss the issue of bail.

    Rust (44) has been behind bars since January 2016.

    Earlier this year, Rust's lawyer, Jan Wessels, told an Okahandja magistrate that the police officer in charge of the investigation had indicated he would withdraw his initial opposition to bail.

    Rust launched his first unsuccessful bail application in February 2016. An appeal to the High Court was dismissed later that year.

    Okahandja magistrate Masule Kwizi denied bail, stating that Rust was a flight risk because he had relatives in Germany. Other reasons for the refusal were that Rust might interfere with State witnesses or commit suicide.

    A second bail application was brought before the Okahandja Magistrate's Court after the failed appeal, based on Rust's deteriorating health behind bars. That appeal was also denied, in November last year.

    Rust has been held in the hospital unit of the Windhoek Central Prison for a number of months, after he was transferred from the Okahandja holding cells due to health concerns.

    The State has charged Rust with a count of murder and three counts of attempted murder. Initially he was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, but the charges were withdrawn earlier this year.

    Rust has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    The charges are in connection with the fatal shooting of a suspected poacher, Andreas Ukandanga, on the Rust family's farm north-east of Okahandja. The attempted murder charges stem from allegations that Rust shot at other suspected poachers as they fled the scene.

    He was arrested after he had called the police and reported the shooting incident.

    During his testimony in his earlier bail applications, Rust claimed that he had had not aimed at Ukandanga but had fired at a dog when he heard barking and suspected a poaching incident.

    He claimed he had not seen any human beings when he approached the dog and began shooting.

    He found Ukandanga lying behind a rock at the scene, where he also discovered a partly slaughtered kudu, snares, a panga, a knife and a bag of maize meal.

    Prosecutor Filemon Nyau is appearing for the State while Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt is presiding.


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