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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Corruption - A social disease (Part 150): Ministers’ accountability at an all-time low?Corruption - A social disease (Part 150): Ministers’ accountability at an all-time low? Johan Coetzee - This article focuses on the recent case of John Mutorwa, the previous Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development’s appointment of the Meatco board dating back to 2016.

    This is one example of many cases of substandard corporate governance by political office bearers in abusing their power in terms of the ongoing poor performance of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) of which their liabilities are at least N$45 billion, sucking our national budget dry year on year. A pattern has developed over the past five years that can be called a trend of unaccountability of ministers in charge of SOEs and overextending their power over boards at the cost of public accountability.

    Let us contextualise the issues dealing with corporate governance. The High Court ruled that the appointment on 16 February 2017 of the Meatco Board by Mutorwa was in conflict with the Meatco Act, the Public Enterprises Governance Act and the Namibian Constitution.

    On 27 September 2016, Mutorwa extended the term of the then existing board by three months to 4 January 2017. This extension has been done after he has been reminded to call a meeting where Meatco members could nominate board members to Mutorwa who must have been considered for appointment. Members are legally entitled to make such nominations to protect their interests. However, no such meeting was called by the minister. Mutorwa deliberately ignored the nomination of board members by the members of Meatco, the livestock farmers.

    On 15 February 2017, five livestock farmers brought an urgent High Court application seeking an order to set aside the minister’s decision and declare the board illegal. Mutorwa settled the issue and agreed that his appointment of the temporary board be set aside.

    Although the issue has been settled on 17 February 2017, Mutorwa has already appointed the same board temporarily on 16 February. Because there was an existing board in place, Mutorwa did not have the power to appoint another board.

    THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW

    It is time to ask questions about who are accountable and why is Mutorwa not held accountable by the President? Mutorwa is an experienced minister that is supposed to know much better. He is supposed to know to respect the pivot around which all good governance rotates – accountability. In this case public accountability towards livestock producers, Namibian citizens, Meatco board members and the President.

    Since Mutorwa is appointed by the President, the critical question is: Will he be held accountable by Geingob? If so, how will the President hold him accountable?

    Since 2019 is an election year, this is a critical time for the President to demonstrate his public accountability towards Namibians that voted for him with an overwhelming majority to be appointed to the most powerful position in the country. If Geingob does nothing, can it be regarded as a demonstration of his non-accountability towards the public?

    What about Mutorwa’ accountability towards himself? Will he resign?

    Why can ministers not be held liable for the performance of SOEs? They interfere enough to be accountable and liable.

    Politicians are not being held accountable for their actions as is evident from the Mutorwa case. Probably due to vested interests of those that appoint boards members (ministers) and board members’ vested interests towards the ruling party, they all seem unaccountable.

    It is time for the President to intervene and act on his promise of 2018 as "The Year of Reckoning", of which we have not seen very much. If Geingob is serious about changing the status of accountability and governance of the 99 SOEs, this is the time to do. It can give ministers time to reflect and rectify their accountability deficit before we enter 2019.

    In the new year old habits will be retained and during election time historic struggles of political ideology with very limited rationality and economic accountability will be entertained. Let us remain hopeful the future of governance will change because we are heading fast on a downward slope of ministerial unaccountability.

    jcoetzee@nust.na

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  • 12/06/18--14:00: Newsprint is 'like home'
  • Newsprint is 'like home'Newsprint is 'like home' Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) recently rewarded its employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Justicia Shipena



    Mbangura was born and raised at Okoumbonde village, which is located in the Epukiro constituency of the Omaheke Region. He attended grades 1 and 2 at Bethold Himumuine Primary School in Windhoek and then moved to the Hipo Busman School in Omaheke Region where he attended his grades 3 and 4.

    “Due to my parents not believing in school they had to take me out of school to go look after the livestock,” he said.

    In 1977 he moved to Windhoek in search of work and he managed to secure a job at Standard Bank as a deliveryman. His responsibilities at the bank included getting post and delivering it from 1980 until 1986.

    In 1986 he started working for Newsprint Namibia, which was previously called John Meinert Newsprint. He has worked for Newsprint Namibia for 30 consecutive years as a board operator.

    At the beginning of his working career at Newsprint Namibia he was a cleaner and his responsibilities included washing small machines that were used to print books, after production.

    “Most of the time I was doing nothing, as my job was after the people had done with printing and that gave me an opportunity to learn and watch how they were printing,” he said.

    On a particular day there were only a few workers, and he was asked to help out. He impressed with the things that he knew and it was obvious that he could work as a printer. Since then he has been printing newspapers, books and catalogues.

    Mbangura currently works as a board operator and his role includes operating the machine, making sure that it is clean and ready for the next task.

    “Sometimes we have a lot of work and we have to manage to finish on time, as it is very important that we finish on time and we produce quality work,” he said.

    Mbangura added that in December there is usually a lot of work, as there is a lot of special printing they have to do, as well as in January. He said sometimes when he gets to work he finds there is important news that needs to be printed.

    “So I don't know in most cases what I will face until I get to work and I have to think fast in order to finish on time,” he said.

    He said his biggest achievement was starting off as a cleaner and becoming a board operator.

    “Now I'm one of the people that leads the others and I'm happy that I can teach others and do a proper job for the company to grow.”

    Mbangura says Newsprint Namibia has become like a home for him.

    “It is like a home to me and when one is home you have nowhere to go. I have seen people come and go, but I'm so happy to be part of this company,” he said.

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    No docket in court for child-rape caseNo docket in court for child-rape case Alleged serial rapist Gewen Gawa-nab (24) appeared before the Katutura Magistrate's Court on Wednesday but the docket was not available and Magistrate Loide Amwaandi-Ndangi had to postpone the matter to 29 January next year.

    Gawa-nab is accused of raping a nine-year-old girl on 26 October. The incident occurred just west of the capital. He allegedly also mutilated her genitals. He fled into the mountains but was arrested in a shack in Otjomuise on 29 October.

    At the time of the offence he was out on bail on another rape charge, with several other rape charges pending against him.

    On Wednesday, he also appeared in court on a second rape charge. That matter was postponed to 18 December, pending the results of lab tests.

    Gawa-nab was denied bail.

    Victoria Thompson appeared on behalf of the State.

    Reverend Zack Pienaar, the founder of the Voice of the Voiceless organisation, attended the proceedings on Wednesday to support the victim's family, whom he is counselling.

    A handful of women dressed in black joined him in a silent protest against gender-based violence.

    “One of these women is here today to support the family because she is also a survivor of rape when she was a mere seven years old. She says it destroyed her life,” Pienaar said.

    “This man must be kept in custody. If he gets out, I will find him first,” said a family member who had found the little girl after the rape.

    The girl's parents said their daughter was recovering from the injuries but still suffered from nightmares.

    “She will return to school next year,” they said.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Back to court in fight to evict illegal settlersBack to court in fight to evict illegal settlers The legal battle to evict seven Gam farmers accused of illegally occupying parts of the Nyae Nyae communal conservancy for nearly a decade is set to continue next year.

    A High Court order to evict the farmers was revoked earlier this year because of technical issues.

    One of the arguments raised by the respondents in the case is that they live at Tsumkwe and not in the Nyae Nyae conservancy. The Tsumkwe settlement, which was proclaimed in 2002, falls under the control of the Otjozondjupa regional council.

    The farmers named as respondents in the case are Tjizera Kavezenji, N. Ngombe, Tjitindi Tjazapo, Kaapuhu Majuva, Kauheva Vetiaje, Murambi Ndjandereeko and Matiro Dikuwa.

    They further argue that the livestock that form part of the court proceedings - close to 460 cattle, goats, donkeys and poultry - were acquired from members of the Nyae Nyae community and as such “the cattle already had grazing rights” there. They argue that before Tsumkwe was proclaimed a settlement it was part of the communal area falling under the jurisdiction of the Ju/'Hoansi traditional authority. As such, they derived grazing rights in the communal area by virtue of being lawful occupants of Tsumkwe.

    The respondents also argue that there was no condition of sale that the cattle should stop grazing in the area after their purchase.

    They say if the court evicts them they would be landless.

    Such a judgment would thus have “drastic consequences and does not promote the overall purpose of the Communal Land Reform Act”, they claim. Another argument is that the action against them is unfair and discriminatory, as no reasons have been given why they have been singled out from others in a similar position.



    Decade-long battle

    In his founding affidavit, Chief Tsamkxao ‡Oma stated that the unlawful occupation of the conservancy started in April 2009. By May 2009 it was estimated that there were 300 farmers with about 1 100 livestock illegally occupying the area. “None of the offending respondents had or have lawful authority to do so. They did not seek permission from myself, the Ju/'Hoansi traditional authority or any other permitting authority.”

    The chief said a protracted battle to evict the farmers ended in deadlock, which left the traditional authority no option but to take the matter to court. One of the concerns of the community is that the alleged illegal settlers “do not care where their livestock is herded, whether it be in sensitive zoned areas, eco-tourism areas, hunting areas or even settlement areas with crops of local communities living there; their cattle and other livestock roam with impunity.” The chief said the impact of the unauthorised occupation and grazing was destructive and undermined the objectives of the community conservancy and community forest. Several meetings with authorities, ranging from the Otjozondjupa regional governor to the police, the regional council and the prime minister's office, were to no avail, the chief said. Other respondents in the matter are: the ministers of land reform, safety and security, environment and tourism, and agriculture, water and forestry; the prosecutor-general; the inspector-general of the Namibian police; the Otjozondjupa communal land board and the director of forestry.



    Nowhere to go

    In June, Namibian Sun reported that the seven farmers involved in the matter are part of the Ovaherero families who were repatriated from Botswana, where their ancestors had fled to during the German-Herero war from 1904 to 1908. They were relocated in Gam in 1996.

    “We are not people from Botswana; we are Namibians who have returned home. Now we have nowhere to go,” they said. They told Namibian Sun in April that they wanted the government to recognise them as Namibians. They complained that they were ignored, were never fully integrated and their children had no legal rights in Namibia. Yesterday, the Legal Assistance Centre, which is helping the conservancy with their court case, submitted the joint case management report and the case is set to continue next year.





    JANA-MARI SMITH

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    Six-month 'payment holiday' mootedSix-month 'payment holiday' mootedJustice ministry seeks to protect people's homes The justice ministry has made a number of proposals aimed at stopping people losing their homes “through shady deals and unfair court processes”. The government has urged commercial banks to introduce an assistance scheme that would give people who lose their jobs a six-month “payment holiday” in which no additional interest is added to home loans and no instalments are expected.

    The home loan contract would then be extended by six months, but would provide some leeway for the owner to come up with a plan.

    Banks should also be compelled to educate their customers on the consequences of non-payment. These are some of the suggestions made by the justice ministry to protect people against losing their houses “through shady deals and unfair court processes”.

    “The result of this is that people, often those who are most vulnerable in society, lose their homes without understanding the process that was followed or without any opportunity to request further particulars,” the ministry says in a document that formed part of a consultative meeting on amendments to the High Court Act of 1990 and the Magistrate's Court Act of 1944. It says the right to adequate housing is a recognised human right that falls within the sphere of economic, social and cultural rights.

    The document states that in 2014, the High Court rules were amended and provide for judicial oversight in the sale in execution of people's homes. The current magistrate's court rules do not have a similar provision and therefore allow warrants of execution to be issued by the clerk of the court. The magistrate's court rules should thus be amended to bring them in line with those of the High Court.

    “The High Court rules have proven to be effective, but a floodgate situation has been caused in the magistrate's courts, where the rule has not been amended yet. The High Court was in the meantime declared ultra vires by the Supreme Court,” it reads.

    The proposed solutions include that the High Court Act be amended to create “a substantive provision for the creation of a substantive rule in the format of Rule 108(1) (a) and (b) of the Rules of the High Court”.

    The Magistrate's Court Act of 1932, as amended, should also be amended to create a substantive rule similar to the High Court one.

    Another proposal is that the Law Society of Namibia, and perhaps the Deeds Office, should be asked to introduce additional measures when property transfers take place between family members, “or where the transfer takes place within a short span of time with a significant increase in price”.

    “These institutions should be involved especially where transfers take place simultaneously (on the same day). It is further suggested that these sales be subjected to additional tax burdens in order to avoid exploitation.”

    In his opening remarks at the consultative meeting, justice minister Sacky Shanghala said where an immovable property is the primary home of the judgment debtor, a court may not declare such an immovable property excecutionable unless the execution debtor has been informed of an intended application to have the property declared excecutionable and the debtor has been informed to provide reasons why this should not happen.

    “During this discussion we must consider what would be the most effective and deterrent action against illegal sales in execution. We will also consider the effect of the other suggested amendments and how the ministry can contribute to educating leaders,” Shanghala added.





    STAFF REPORTER

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    Palladium outshines gold for first time in 16 yearsPalladium outshines gold for first time in 16 yearsRecord high of US$1 263.56/oz A sustained supply deficit coupled with robust demand and rising interest from speculators have pushed prices of palladium up. Palladium seems to have been successfully marketed as the 'go-to' input in hybrids before the EV market share hits an inflection point. - Scotiabank Arpan Varghese and Swati Verma - Palladium is more valuable than gold for the first time since 2002, with prices soaring by around 50% in less than four months to record levels - just as gold failed to capitalise on some seemingly bullish scenarios.

    A sustained supply deficit coupled with robust demand and rising interest from speculators have pushed prices of palladium - used mainly in emissions-reducing catalysts for vehicles - from around US$832 an ounce in mid-August to a high of US$1 263.56 per ounce on Wednesday.

    Palladium was trading at a premium of more than US$25 an ounce to gold on Wednesday, in striking contrast to about two years ago when bullion was twice as expensive.

    Gold is meanwhile stuck in the doldrums around US$1 235, having largely lost out to the dollar this year as a US-China trade row escalated against a backdrop of rising interest rates.

    Expectations that investors might turn to gold as a safe haven asset at a time of rising economic uncertainty and protectionism have been dented.

    "It [parity with gold] is fundamentally justified. The market has been in sustained deficit and the effects of that are being borne out," said Marcus Garvey, analyst at ICBC Standard bank.

    Platinum

    Palladium's gains this year have overshadowed platinum as well, having overtaken its better-known sister metal last year.

    Both are primarily consumed by automakers for catalytic converter manufacturing, but platinum is more heavily used in the diesel vehicles that have fallen out of favour since the Volkswagen emissions-rigging scandal broke in 2015.

    "Palladium is characterised by the strongest supply-demand backdrop across the major precious metals," precious metals consultancy Metals Focus said in a note.

    Supplies from major producers including Russia and South Africa are also not growing, analysts said.

    Metals Focus said it expected global automotive palladium demand to achieve a new record high in 2018 of around 8.5 million ounces.

    Palladium, unlike platinum, has benefited from a switch to petrol engines and expectations for growth in hybrid electric vehicles, which tend to be gasoline-powered.

    This has helped the metal largely ignore falling car sales across the globe, especially in China, the world's largest auto market, where sales marked a fourth straight month of declines.

    Longer term, though, widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) could lead to reduced demand for both platinum and palladium in autocatalysts.

    "Palladium seems to have been successfully marketed as the 'go-to' input in hybrids before the EV market share hits an inflection point," analysts at Scotiabank wrote in a note.

    Speculative interest

    Commerzbank said the rise in palladium prices was accompanied by high speculative interest, reflected in the strong build-up of net long positions.

    "In the short term, more speculators could jump on the bandwagon and drive the price even higher, especially as the palladium market is very small and illiquid," it said.

    However, palladium's strong run could run out of steam, as technical analysis charts show prices now moving into overbought territory, which could enable gold to re-establish its premium over palladium, analysts said.

    "It's clearly reached a level where a question will be asked whether this move is justified and that eventually will lead to some profit-taking," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

    Gold meanwhile has suffered from the all-encompassing strength of the US dollar, with other traditional safe havens such as the Japanese yen also losing out.

    Investors favouring the US dollar over gold has proved a double negative as a stronger greenback makes gold more expensive for buyers with other currencies, dampening demand. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 12/06/18--14:00: High-flyer soars higher
  • High-flyer soars higherHigh-flyer soars higherPull Quote: “I love working with people and at Nust I get to meet people from all corners of our beautiful continent.” - Nust faculty officer, Gilbert ||Hoabeb. From a dreamer to an overachiever, with more accomplishments on the way. Elizabeth Joseph









    Gilbert ||Hoabeb was born in Windhoek and raised in the suburb of Katutura and holds a certificate in business management and a B.Com degree.

    He is also currently busy with his masters, with only his dissertation outstanding.

    He is the faculty officer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in the management department under the faculty of management sciences.

    As the faculty officer, he represents the registrar and works closely with the dean, heads of department, lecturers and other academic and administrative staff.

    “My portfolio is empowered to direct, control, coordinate and to advise the dean, heads of department and the lecturers. My experience allows me to provide wide-ranging administrative support within the faculty, including supporting and contributing to the effective delivery of the Office of the Registrar’s procedures and processes.

    “As the representative of the registrar in the faculty, I am also the custodian of the university’s statutes and rules; I implement the rules and regulations and ensure compliance or enforcement at faculty and departmental level,” ||Hoabeb said.

    Although every day in the office is not the same, ||Hoabeb says there are several procedures to stick to, in order to make sure that the day goes as smoothly as possible.

    ||Hoabeb initially started at a South African-based private tertiary institution and this where his love and pure desire for the education sector and children started.

    “I love working with people and at Nust I get to meet people from all corners of our beautiful continent. I don’t think I would want to trade places with another career than what I have now.”

    Obstacles and victories

    ||Hoabeb says his duties has challenges and frustrations, but he never lets the negatives dictate who he is professionally. “What I can tell you is that the satisfaction always outweighs the challenges.

    “In the words of Menachem Begin, ‘Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth’,” ||Hoabeb said.



    The future

    ||Hoabeb has many goals and plans for the future and among these is to complete his masters’ degree in business management. He also wants to pursue and further a career in lecturing, and says he will do this on a part-time basis.

    “Also, a PhD is not far away, it has my name on it already.”

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  • 12/06/18--14:00: Enough is enough!
  • Enough is enough!Enough is enough! A five-day police operation conducted in all SADC countries has exposed rampant child neglect in Namibia, and it's shocking, too say the least.

    The crime-fighting operation, led by female police officers, resulted in the extraction of 56 children younger than 18 and nine mothers carrying babies from shebeens, bars and liquor stores over a period of just five days.

    All liquor outlet, bar and shebeen owners were given written warnings for allowing minors onto their premises and 182 illegal liquor outlets were closed out of the 714 inspected.

    Major-General Anna-Marie Nainda said child abuse incidents in Namibia are rising and need to be dealt with using the full might of the law.

    She said the neglect of children has become a burning and critical problem, and that if any children are found abandoned, roaming the streets without adequate supervision or are taken into places they are not supposed to be, “we are going to open criminal cases and we are going to arrest those people”.

    The police escorted mothers with young children from bars, shebeens and gambling houses during the operation.

    During an inspection at a Klein Windhoek gambling house in the early morning hours, the police discovered drunken teenage girls, who were promptly removed.

    This is indeed a shocking state of affairs as we enter the festive season.

    There has in any event been a surge in the most heinous crimes being perpetrated against the most vulnerable, and child neglect opens barn-sized windows of opportunity for criminals to strike.

    We call on the police to continue their quest to make examples of parents and guardians who neglect children or expose them to unsavoury places and situations.

    It is a source of great discomfort that children are being left at the mercy of bar patrons, or worse.

    Severe punitive measures need to be enforced without fear or favour, going forward.

    We cannot put the nation's children at risk in this way or play Russian roulette with their futures. Enough is enough!

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    LPM application to ECN 'not stalled'LPM application to ECN 'not stalled'Corrections were needed The Electoral Commission says all processes for the registration of political parties must be stringently followed. The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has shrugged off a suggestion that an application by the Landless People's Movement (LPM) for registration as a political party is stalled.

    An allegation doing the rounds in the ranks of the LPM is that the process to gazette the registration at the ministry of justice is being deliberately impeded for political expediency.

    The chief electoral officer of the ECN, Theo Mujoro, says there are various processes to be completed before the commission can give the go-ahead for the gazette office in the justice ministry to publish the registration of a political party.

    He says when the ECN receives an application for the registration of a political party, its data centre has to check each and every name of the more than 3 500 names for their declaration, voter registration numbers and regions and constituencies in which they are registered.

    This information is then provided to the commission to ensure the application complies with all the legal requirements.

    Mujoro says depending on the commission's decision, the more than 3 500 names and voter registration numbers would then be typed before being handed over to the directorate of legislative drafting in the justice ministry for perusal and certification.

    “[When] finalised, the information is provided to the Government Gazette office. They require a two-week period to prepare the notice for publication,” Mujoro said. The LPM applied for registration as political party on 9 September.

    The ECN says the time it takes to finalise the process includes the corrections or alterations that have to be made.

    It says it had to send the LPM's application documents back twice for corrections.

    So far, no other applications for the registration of new political parties have been submitted the ECN.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 12/06/18--14:00: Reed puts people first
  • Reed puts people firstReed puts people firstGreat strides bring great rewards Marsia Reed’s purpose in life is to make a lasting impact on the lives of people by motivating, listening, mentoring, connecting and guiding. Pull Quote: “It is incredibly exciting to see what people are doing with limited resources to change people’s lives.”- Marsia Reed, Lithon Foundation CEO. Elizabeth Joseph

    For Lithon Foundation CEO Marsia Reed, the purpose is people.

    Reed has always believed in living an impactful life.

    Reed is a Jill of all trades and holds a B.Com degree which she obtained from the University of Stellenbosch. She was a stay at home mother for 13 years, while running her own wellness business. She then moved on and was employed as the purchasing officer for Rössing and Group 5.

    Reed has not only made waves in the corporate world, but also in the sport industry. She was the sport organiser at Pionierspark Primary School for a few years and also the development manager at Cricket Namibia.

    Reed is now the CEO of the Lithon Foundation for the Lithon Project Consultants.

    “My purpose in life is to make a lasting impact on the lives of people by motivating, listening, mentoring, connecting and guiding. Being involved in the Lithon Foundation opened a huge platform for me to do exactly that, but on a much larger scale.

    “Through networking, significant impact is also made possible with welfare organisations; we believe by adding value, increasing their influence in communities and impacting through excellence and integrity, but remaining focused on people,” Reed said.

    Triumphs and trials

    The ‘Sharing the Dream’ breakfast, which the foundation hosted every second week this year, has provided an incredible platform for organisations and individuals to share their stories, passion, activities and dreams with other organisations and businesspeople, according to Reed.

    “The sessions are extremely successful because we are all desperate to hear good stories that uplift us and revive the hope that people are inherently good and want to help those who are less fortunate. The foundation’s executing arm, Impact for Life, was launched in October. The purpose is to provide a platform for interaction and collaboration between like-minded people and organisations to impact and improve people’s lives,” Reed said.

    Some of the challenges Reed has faced include the country’s dire economic situation, which forced the Lithon Foundation to terminate all financial support to various organisations, with whom the foundation has had relationships for more than 10 years.

    “The foundation, through the sponsorship of Lithon Project Consultants carrying our administrative costs, and by the grace of God alone, has been able to continue the passion of the foundation, to bring God’s love and hope to communities, despite having no funds available,” she added.

    Reed says they have been able to remain focused on bringing God’s love and hope to communities, by steering Impact for Life to execute dreams and address problems and partnering with organisations like Loving Thy Neighbour.

    A day in the office

    “A great deal of the day goes into administration, planning and networking. I also value talking to individuals and organisations, sharing information and learning from each other. Meetings are important to align ideas and plan ahead and sometimes I get the time to visit an organisation to see the successes and challenges they are facing daily,” she says.

    The next step

    “In 2019, Impact for Life will be activated with various identified projects for purpose and think tanks, which have already been establish to address national problems in Namibia. Our focus will be to ensure the network of leaders are aligned and focused in addressing problems productively, and executing to success.

    With the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Lithon Foundation would like to present the first-ever Namibia Welfare Organisations Day, to promote cooperation and celebrate their achievements.

    “Following this event the foundation will assist the ministry to register all welfare organisations on the Loving Thy Neighbour platform, which will enable the ministry to have a clear understanding and insight of all activities and actions in the country.

    “Our focus will also be on creating a substantial fund to support national projects,” Reed added.

    Marsia Reed fact box:

    She has been married for 28 years.

    She has read the 66 books of the Bible this year.

    She loves rock music

    She loves camping with family and friends in nature.

    She has been to Sossusvlei 10 times.

    She enjoys CrossFit.

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    10 game-changing financial freedom tips10 game-changing financial freedom tips Fight the January headaches by following these easy steps Financial freedom: It can sound like a nice theory. But the truth is, it’s possible for anyone to achieve. And I mean anyone - even someone who once had tens of thousands in student loan debt like yours truly. No matter what financial troubles you have today, there’s always a way to get back to black.

    1. Understand where you’re at

    You can’t achieve financial freedom without knowing your starting point. Looking at how much debt you have, how much savings you don’t have, and how much money you need can be a depressing reality. But this is a valuable step in the right direction.

    Compile a list of all your debts: mortgage, student loans, car loan, credit cards, and any other debt you may have accumulated. Don’t forget to include any money you may have borrowed from friends or family members over the years.

    How much debt do you have?

    If it’s a big number, don’t freak out, I promise I’ll share some ways to pay that later in this article. If it’s a small number, congratulations!

    Next, take a look at all the money you have saved up.

    Compile a list of all your savings: savings accounts, stocks, company stock-matching programmes, company retirement-matching programmes, and retirement plans. Then we’ll add the recurring monthly payments you receive such as salary, side hustle money and so on.

    Keep these numbers in mind as we work through the next few financial freedom tips.

    2. Look at money positively

    Debt can definitely be a little bit discouraging.

    But remember that money is a good thing, even if it seems to carry a lot of burden right now.

    You deserve to achieve financial freedom.

    According to ‘You Are a Badass at Making Money’ by Jen Sincero, people who don’t make a lot of money often feel shame when it comes to making money. And so the biggest obstacle that many people experience when it comes to making money is that they feel like having money is bad. Many feel guilty for having it and guiltier for wanting it. Sincero said about money: “We use it every day to enhance our lives, yet we always seem to focus on the negative about it.”

    Money is simply a necessity like food or water. It helps you buy the things you need and live the life you want.

    To experience financial freedom, you’re going to need to look at money as a tool to help you achieve your dreams, fuel your energy and live a stress-free life you can enjoy.

    Because if you view money negatively, you’ll subconsciously sabotage your chances of making it and keeping it.

    3. Write down your goals

    Why do you need money? Do you want to get rid of debt for good? Are you desperate to escape the nine-to-five grind? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to travel to? Do you need to save for a wedding, kids, or retirement?

    When I achieved financial freedom, it was because I tied it to an emotional goal. My goal was to get out of student loan debt and save for my first home. And honestly, it was a euphoric experience watching the debt dwindle away and my savings rise.

    I got so excited by seeing the numbers change that I worked harder to make more money to see a bigger change in my personal finances. Would I have achieved my goal of financial freedom if I hadn’t tied the goal to something emotional? Probably not. I was desperate to get out of debt and move out of my parent’s house. That desperation kept me motivated throughout my journey.

    Knowing exactly what you want to achieve makes achieving financial freedom a million times easier.

    4. Track your spending

    An important step toward financial freedom is tracking your spending.

    You can use a tool like Mint, which will let you know how much money you’re spending, which categories you’ve overspent in, how much money is in all of your accounts, and how much debt you have.

    Another cool thing about Mint is that it allows you to set goals within the dashboard. You can keep track of your goals and know the exact month you’ll be expected to hit the goal based on how much money you put in. Thus, keeping you accountable and reminding you to keep putting money towards it for you.

    After using Mint for one month, I managed to save some extra money towards my new wedding fund goal. Mint helped me stay focused on my goal and pushed me towards creating more passive income to hit my financial milestones.

    5. Pay yourself first

    You’ve probably heard the expression “pay yourself first”. But in case you haven’t, “pay yourself first” means putting a specific amount of money in your savings account before paying anything else, such as bills. And the act of paying yourself first has helped countless people inch closer to achieving financial freedom. Why? Because if you want to pay yourself US$1 000 per pay period first, then whatever’s left over needs to go towards bills. And if you don’t have enough to cover those bills, then you’re forced to pick up a side income to make up the costs.

    By paying yourself first, you guarantee that you’re always putting money aside to invest in yourself. By doing the opposite, you only get whatever is left over, which usually isn’t substantial enough to help you experience financial freedom.

    You can pay yourself first in other ways too. For example, if your company has a retirement savings programme, you can ask to have money withdrawn for your retirement. That way you’re investing in yourself and your future first. The money gets deducted from your pay so everything that’s left over is money that you can put aside for your bills and expenses.

    6. Spend less

    In 1958, Warren Buffett purchased a five bedroom home for US$31 500 and hasn’t moved out of it since. His net worth? An astounding US$90.3 billion. He can afford a bigger and more expensive home. But his frugality might very well be the reason why he’s one of the world’s richest people.

    Kanye West, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to flaunt his money. He lives in a US$20 million mansion. And at one point, with US$53 million of debt, he decided to ask Mark Zuckerberg for US$1 billion… on Twitter.

    The difference between the two super successful gentlemen? Buffet didn’t spend more than he needed to, and West spends money he doesn’t have.

    The truth is, plenty of rich people don’t look like rich people. Zuckerberg literally wears the same boring T-shirt and jeans every day.

    Buying less stuff can actually help you get richer.

    By spending less, two things work in your favour. One, you’ll have more money to put aside for your financial freedom. Two, you’ll learn that you actually need a lot less stuff to survive, which also helps you put aside more money.

    7. Buy experiences not things

    Life’s short. It’s not about hoarding all your cash until you’re 65. You’re allowed to enjoy life while you’re alive.

    Ultimately, the things that’ll help you live a more fulfilled life will be the experiences you have, not the products you own.

    And are the things you buy making you happier over the long-term? Does the debt you have from buying a bunch of stuff make your life easier?

    What’s your happiest memory? What were you doing? Who were you with?

    Maybe you have a friend you love working out with. Invite her over to work out to a YouTube playlist at home for free.

    You’ve always dreamed of travelling to Rome. You’ve been saving up money for a year to experience your dream vacation. Go on that vacation feeling guilt-free. You didn’t go into debt for it, you’ve earned it. Or you can become a digital nomad and travel the world while working abroad.

    Life is made up of moments. The best ones come from quality time spent with friends and family. While some products can help bring you closer to your family (like a weekly family video game night) most of them don’t add much value.

    8. Pay off debt

    Some people will tell you it’s wiser to invest your money in stocks instead of paying off your debt. If you’re an expert stock picker, maybe that’s true. But if you’ve never invested in stocks before, you could wind up with more debt.

    While paying someone else isn’t as glamorous as having money in the bank, it does bring you closer to financial freedom.

    There are two main methods of paying off debt: Snowball and avalanche. Snowball is when you pay off the smallest debt first. Avalanche is when you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate.

    Paying off a big debt lifts a massive weight off your shoulders. After paying off your debt, you see the amount of money you have in the bank rise. It’s an awesome feeling watching the number climb (even if you had to watch it fall at the beginning), and it keeps you motivated to continue growing it.

    9. Create additional sources of income

    Okay, so at this point, you’re probably thinking: “My debt is a lot more than my salary, how can I pay it off if I don’t make enough?”

    If you’re serious about financial freedom, you’ve got to sacrifice some blood, sweat, and tears.

    Your nine-to-five might not cut it. If that’s the case, you need to step it up and look for money outside your current job.

    Some experts recommend having seven streams of income. If you have a nine-to-five job, congratulations, you have one, only six more to go!

    Now, you can look at your sources of income in two ways: active income (trading time for money) or passive income (money that can keep coming in, even while you sleep).

    If you trade your time for money, you’re limited by the hours of the day. Here are a few side jobs you can do to earn an active income.

    10. Invest in your future

    The last financial freedom tip is an important one. Say you follow the advice and recommendations in this article, get out of debt, and grow your savings. That might be enough to help you out right now. But what if the unexpected happens? Will you be prepared for it?

    It’s important to set aside money for rainy days, retirement, and (sorry to be morbid here) in case you die, to help ensure your family doesn’t drown paying for your funeral, debts and taxes. Okay, now let’s get back to that happy place.

    An emergency fund is only for unplanned emergencies like a tree crashing onto your house, a car accident you need to pay for out of pocket or a visit to the hospital.

    By setting aside money for rainy days and retirement, you’ll be less likely to end up back to where you are now - wishing for financial freedom.

    Nicole Martins Ferreira

    https://www.oberlo.com/blog/financial-freedom

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  • 12/06/18--14:00: Millers in vetkoek fight
  • Millers in vetkoek fightMillers in vetkoek fightNamib Mills sues Bokomo Namib Mills wants the High Court to stop Bokomo selling a vetkoek flour mix in packaging that closely resembles its equivalent Bakpro product. Namib Mills is suing Bokomo Namibia for alleged unfair competition and wants the High Court to interdict Bokomo from selling its 'vetkoek flour mix' in its current packaging.

    In his founding affidavit before the High Court, Pieter van Niekerk, commercial manager at Namib Mills, sets out the company's argument why the packaging constitutes uncompetitive behaviour by Bokomo Namibia.

    He claims that Bokomo intentionally chose the design of its packaging “in order to benefit from the equity of the Namib Mills brand” in Namibia.

    Bokomo's majority shareholder is South African giant Pioneer Foods, a listed company that recorded just over R10 billion in revenue in 2017.

    Van Niekerk claims that Bokomo has “appropriated a significant element of Namib Mills' get-up [packaging]”. He told the court that Namib Mills is the largest grain-processing company in Namibia, selling maize meal, wheat flour and pasta, and packaged rice and sugar.

    “It sells these under its trademark Bakpro and, in particular, the distinctive get-up of these products.” The brand has worked since 1982 for its equity. Packaging plays a very big part in this, he explained.

    “This get-up is well known and is relied upon by purchasers in the buying process. It has three constituent characteristics: The top two-thirds is white with the brand Bakpro appearing in the top third, a picture of cake or bread in the middle of the pack, and the bottom third shows a slash or band in a particular colour.

    “Apart from the colour brown, for the brown bread wheat flour product, there is no relation to the product in the colours of the slashes adorning the packs.”

    Namib Mills, Van Niekerk said, researched the particular mix of bread and cake flour to produce the ideal dough for vetkoek, ensuring minimal absorption of oil during the frying process, and introduced this mix as an “innovative product to the Namibian market”.





    The packaging, because it forms part of the Bakpro product range, was packaged in a similar get-up but the colour slash is mustard-yellow.

    Van Niekerk said Bokomo's cake and bread flour sales were detrimentally affected after the introduction of the vetkoek mix, which did exceptionally well in the market. At its introduction in January 2018, 42 tonnes were sold and by August, sales had climbed to 880 tonnes.

    “What is also relevant is that the new vetkoek flour product cannibalised sales directly from Bokomo's white bread flour. Namib Mills' staff reported that Bokomo was driven to selling stock very close to its expiry date at discounted prices at wholesalers. This is relevant because it is no doubt what prompted Bokomo into introducing vetkoek flour in its unlawful packaging.”

    Van Niekerk spoke at length of brand visual equity and a brand's visual assets.

    “There are phenomena recognised by marketing experts as being a basis upon which consumers make purchasing decisions, because it is such features which influence their thought processes at the time of purchase. No doubt, this is well appreciated by Bokomo which is why it has adopted the essential elements of Namib Mills' visual assets for its competing product.”

    He explained the marketing campaigns that Namib Mills invested in to promote its vetkoek flour.

    “It is relevant and material that the marketing strategy has been, and continues to be, to focus on the distinctive mustard-yellow.”

    More than N$1.7 million was spent on marketing the brand, he said. In summary, Van Niekerk told the High Court, “The various forms of advertising of the product have compounded the equity that exists in the pack design, but in particular the mustard-yellow colour, as signifying Namib Mills' vetkoek flour”.

    He charged that the packaging of Bokomo's other products differs significantly from that of Namib Mills' Bakpro range.

    “Comparing them with Namib Mills' product, one will notice how radical the changes are and how the new pack appropriates several features of Namib Mills' pack design architecture.

    “I challenge Bokomo to take the court into its confidence and make a full and candid disclosure of all aspects relating to the design of the pack for its vetkoek flour product.

    “Namib Mills has reasonable grounds to believe that the design was intentional, in order capitalise on and benefit from Namib Mills' reputation.”

    Van Niekerk drew the court's attention to what is referred to as 'category language'. He explained that both Namib Mills and Bokomo, along with others in the market, package brown bread flour with a brown colour scheme while the colour scheme for white bread flour is blue.

    “Yet, there is no category known as vetkoek flour.”

    According to Van Niekerk, there was no reason for Bokomo's packaging to feature the mustard-yellow colour chosen by Namib Mills.

    “Bokomo's doing the same, coupled with its significantly amended pack architecture, can only be explained by an intention to appropriate benefit from the existing reputation vesting the get-up of Namib Mills' vetkoek flour product, or to cause confusion in the market, or both.”

    Bokomo, in its response, chose to deal with technicalities.

    Replying to Van Niekerk, Hubertus Hamm, CEO of Bokomo Namibia, dealt extensively with the lack of urgency of the application. He accused Namib Mills of causing the delays and added that “any perceived urgency was therefore created by Namib Mills itself”. He told the court that essentially, Bokomo Namibia is not a party to the proceedings as it was incorrectly cited as “Bokomo Foods” in the court papers.

    He quoted another High Court matter in which the respondent was incorrectly cited. That application was dismissed with costs due to the incorrect naming of the respondent.

    Hamm added that it took Namib Mills two months to complete its founding affidavit, “yet it is of the view that anyone opposing the relief sought should be deprived of proper opportunity to oppose the relief”.

    He also denied that “irreparable harm” would be caused, describing it as a “bold allegation with no substantiation whatsoever”.

    Before Justice Hosea Angula yesterday, Bokomo did not defend and the parties agreed to bring amendments with the application proceeding before the court on 13 February next year.

    Tobias Louw from Theunissen, Louw and Partners appeared for Namib Mills while Daneale Beukes from Engling, Stritter and Partners appeared for Bokomo Namibia.

    YANNA SMITH

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    Running on empty: San kids in dire straitsRunning on empty: San kids in dire straits Cocoma Primary School, which accommodates about 200 learners from marginalised communities in the Kavango East Region, is desperately in need of help.

    School principal Moses Ndumba says the school is in dire straits. There is a lack of classrooms and furniture, no electricity and barely any food to eat. He said only half the learners sit on chairs.

    Ndumba shared how the learners, the majority of whom are from the San community, are battling each day.

    The school is situated in the Ndiyona constituency, about 160 km from Rundu, and was established in the 1970s as a mobile unit.





    It made use of temporary structures until 2015, when the government constructed permanent ones.

    The school offers pre-primary education up to grade 4 and the 204 learners are being taught by three teachers, including the principal.

    “The situation is so bad, because if you look at the backgrounds of these learners it is a challenge. Most of the children are from the San community, some are orphans and others are on medication. We are only three teachers who have to care for all these learners,” Ndumba said. The school also has a makeshift hostel that accommodates about 124 learners. The hostel was constructed by the community and consists of four huts.

    This means that about 30 learners sleep in one hut, which is a bad situation, but there is no alternative.

    “Learners used to walk more than 20 km a day to come to school before I initiated the community hostel. It is not what we think is best, but at least it is making a difference,” Ndumba explained.

    If it was not for the hostel, fewer than 50 learners would be able to attend school, he said.

    He said when he arrived at the school in 2008, only 24 learners turned up. Ndumba said because of the poor turnout, he had to go into the community to engage parents, most of whom work on commercial farms. He said some of the learners were picked up along the river and he decided to educate them. “I was concerned to observe so many children in the community, but only 24 were attending school; that is why I had to do what I did,” Ndumba said.

    He said at the time only three out of the 24 learners were from the San community. However, this year 75% of the 204 learners are from that community.

    He said the children now love school.

    “Some of the children dropped out of school, not because they do not like it, but because of hunger. What can we do if we only have limited food per day?” Ndumba said. He said when it comes to the hostel, he and the two teachers have to spend their own money to feed the children.

    “These children are eating from our pockets. They do not pay for hostel accommodation, as we know they are from marginalised communities and some of them are orphans.”

    Ndumba said only sometimes during “out weekends”, the learners return with a few food items from their homes.

    Asked whether they are part of government's school feeding programme, Ndumba said they only received food through the programme on two occasions.

    He said the only support they get from the Kavango East education regional directorate is transport services, when the learners return home for school breaks.



    Needs

    Ndumba said the school needs two more classrooms, as well as a principal's office and electrification.

    They also need proper hostel accommodation. Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero said his office is well aware of the situation at the school. Kapapero said they have offered assistance when they can. He called on the Office of the Vice-President to come on board, because it advocates for marginalised communities to be educated.

    Ndumba wrote a letter to Vice-president Nangolo Mbumba on 14 October but has not yet received a response. Ndumba also shared that a Chinese school based at the Amitofo Care Centre in Okahandja has adopted four of his learners, who are receiving free education. Another group of ten learners will benefit next year.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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  • 12/07/18--14:00: Take them out to play
  • Take them out to playTake them out to play Vinoliah Mangaba

    For a number of children from orphanages in Windhoek, the world outside is not quite well-known.

    Schedules are super-strict. Schools are not far from their orphanages and playgrounds are close. Basically all essentials are at their doorsteps.

    The Noble Foundation decided to take the children out to have some fun.

    The foundation is a youth organisation that aims for sustainable development.

    It believes that this kind of development can only take place if we nurture each other. Three orphanages were invited: the SOS Children's Village, Orlindi Orphanage and Dolam Children's Home.

    The children were delighted to have a day well-spent at the Academia Secondary School’s sports field, where they indulged in different sport codes and fun activities.

    The majority of the sport codes were miniature games, so the younger children could also be included.

    The turnout was splendid. There was also a football tournament for older youth, which was used as a way to raise funds.

    Miss Outapi, Tracy Kayofa, made an appearance. She said the fun day was an amazing experience and that she had lots of fun, as she felt so comfortable with the children. Kayofa spent a number of years in an orphanage and was able to relate to the children's joy. She says she was honoured to be part of the event and wishes to be a part of many others.

    The fun day had many sponsors. Some of the sponsors were private individuals and the rest were large companies.

    The companies were Red Bull, OTB Sport, Mpact Packaging, The Spot, Shoprite/Checkers, the Confab and SVG Multi Civil Engineers. A special thanks also went to Herman Rust, the principal of Academia Secondary School for availing the sports field for the day.

    Patricia Doeses, the head of the Noble Foundation and her team were indeed glad that the day was a great success.

    Doeses wishes to bring a harmonious relationship between all welfare organisations and societies.

    One of the Orlindi Orphanage home mothers said she was grateful for the day, as the children are kept within the facility immediately after they get home from school. Their friends are also in the orphanage, so they never really go out to socialise and have fun. Many of the children said they were really happy to just get away from their usual daily routine. The 10th of November will surely remain in the memories of all who participated and contributed in one way or another.

    * Vinoliah Mangaba is a grade 12 learner at Academia Secondary School in Windhoek.

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    Young hockey players rewardedYoung hockey players rewarded The Namibian Hockey Union (NHU) recently hosted the 2018 Bank Windhoek Junior Hockey Development League awards ceremony at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School.

    Medals were awarded to the under-10, 12 and 14 age groups in both the boys and girls A and B divisions.

    Saint Paul’s College won the girls’ u-10 A section competition, followed by Pioneers Park Primary School.

    The boys’ under-10 A section was also scooped by Saint Paul’s College, with Windhoek Gymnasium walking away with the second spot.

    The girls’ u-12 A section belonged to Windhoek Gymnasium, who were followed home by St George's Diocesan School.

    Windhoek Gymnasium and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School took the first and second prizes in the boys’ u-12 A section, respectively.

    The girls’ u-14 A section was won by Saint Paul’s College and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School were the runners-up.

    The boys’ u-14 A section was won by Windhoek Afrikaans Private School, followed by Windhoek Gymnasium.

    The development league kicked off in June and concluded in mid-August.

    It had a record entry of 95 teams from 10 different schools. The matches took place at the Windhoek Gymnasium and Wanderers hockey fields in Windhoek.

    “The league is an NHU hockey development programme initiative. It aims to develop the sport of hockey in Namibia by educating and grooming talented young hockey players. Despite challenges such as lack of resources for some schools, the junior hockey league continues to grow,” said Bank Windhoek’s head of corporate affairs, Hayley Allen.

    “Through the partnership with Bank Windhoek, the NHU is in the process of re-introducing hockey into schools and in the regions that have stopped playing the sport due to a lack of equipment and coaches.

    “This partnership started in 2015 and so far nine coaching clinics for coaches and children took place in seven regions in Namibia,” said NHU vice-president, Conrad Wessels.

    “We would like to congratulate the winning and participants teams for putting up incredible performances during the leagues fixtures. Thank you to Bank Windhoek for making this possible,” said Wessels.

    The B section winners were as follows:

    Girls’ u-10 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College C

    Boys’ u-10 -

    Winners: Windhoek Gymnasium

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College B

    Girls’ u-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Boys’ under-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Girls’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    Boys’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    SPORTS REPORTER

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  • 12/07/18--14:00: Giving back
  • Giving back Giving back Young Miss Otavi Primary, Devonishia Vicky Utale, teamed up with Otavi town council to support the Otavi Health Centre’s Soup Kitchen, by providing them with food packages. The soup kitchen caters for underprivileged residents who take strong medication, so they can eat before taking their tablets. Devonishia (8) requested the town council’s help to run her ‘Help me to help the needy campaign’ and Otavi Agra, Otavi Sentra and town council staff come to her aid and staunchly supported her campaign. Devonishia was delighted and expressed her gratitude towards Otavi Agra, Otavi Spar and the town council for their contributions and called on others to follow their good example.

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  • 12/07/18--14:00: Changing lives
  • Changing livesChanging livesReschelle’s classroom project a success Mount View High School truly is an example of Namibians coming together. Michelline Nawatises



    The aim of Miss High School finalist Reschelle Beukes’ project was to aid Mount View High School pupils who are currently taught in tents as classrooms

    The school is located in Okahandja Park, Windhoek, and was introduced to Reschelle by the Institutional Planning Department at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust).

    When they became aware of the circumstances of the learners and teachers, they decided to work closely with the community to facilitate a better learning and teaching environment.

    Reschelle was deeply moved by the students and teachers and made the decision to aid them in alleviating some of the challenges they face.

    The principal, Brian Ndabeni, outlined the history of the school. He said it was begun to service a critical need within the community in 2015 and currently educates 450 learners with 14 teachers.

    The 2017, the grade 10s were ranked 14th regionally in the JSC examinations, an extraordinary achievement when you consider that they are taught in tents and some of the teachers have to store teaching materials in their cars.

    Next year will see the school begin its first grade 12 classes, with the very students it began with in 2015.

    Reschelle will be completing her grade 12 at Windhoek High School next year and was determined to provide at least one classroom to aid the prospective Mount View grade 12s.

    Reschelle’s mother, Lindie Beukes, said: “As a mother I am extremely proud of all her achievements; she is the deputy head girl for 2018/2019 at Windhoek High School and the current Miss Windhoek High School, a finalist for Miss High School Namibia, as well as the current junior mayor of Windhoek. These roles are a great learning experience, but very demanding and for her to still achieve academically, she has had to learn time-management skills that I, as her mother, can only marvel at.”

    Linda Kaurembi, a grade 11 learner at Mount View, said they will be forever grateful for Reschelle’s project.

    “Knowing that we will be able to sit in a classroom next year is a great feeling, thank you Reschelle for stretching out your hand upon our school.”

    The project would not have been a success without the sponsors, who so generously joined hands with Reschelle, and it is because of this generosity that the project has affectionately become known as Tulikuminineni.

    Each one of the sponsors contributed significantly, not only financially but their knowledge and insight, which ensured the successful completion of the first three phases.

    A special thanks went out to Norbert Liebich, director of Container World, who believed in Reschelle from the beginning and worked hard to make the project a reality.

    The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, which had in the past sponsored numerous classrooms at developing schools, came on board by sponsoring the containerised classroom, in support of their group purpose which is “creating a future, enhance life”.

    The placement was made possible with the aid of Windhoek Hire and Sales. Reschelle was overjoyed to be able to work with her granddad, Andries Philander, who assisted her with the building of the foundation for the classroom.

    The foundation for the classroom could not have been built without the aid of the cement donated by Ohorongo Cement; The Pupkewitz Foundation and the generous personal donation of Neavera Tjivikua, an institutional planner at Nust, assisted with the payment of the labourers.

    Wise Masters Builders came on board and in a very short time provided bricks for the foundation; and finally Build It also came through and contributed the sand needed for the construction of the foundation. Last but not least, Victor Boshoff CEO of Neo Paints assisted Reschelle to refurbish and paint the classroom.

    With the support of the principal, teachers and learners of Windhoek High School, stationery will be donated to kick off the school year for the learners of Mount View High.

    However, the work at Mount View is not complete, as Nust will still carry on providing skills training to both the staff and learners, as well as raise funds for uniforms and a feeding scheme for the learners.

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    The joy and love in Christmas carols The joy and love in Christmas carols Justicia Shipena

    Some people dislike December because they hate hearing Christmas music everywhere they go, or because standing in those long lines to purchase your favourite snack is unbearable. I don’t think I am one of those people. Christmas music is one of the few things that bridges the gap between different genres and brings many people together.

    There are the classics, the ones that our parents and grandparents grew up with, singing along to. Nat King Cole’s rendition of Silent Night, Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy and Barenaked Ladies’ God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, are all near the top of my ideal Christmas playlist.

    Then there are the pop carols by NSYNC which is a boy band that broke up in 2002 but their carols such as Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays still continue to bring up cheer to many. Other pop carols include Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe, Band Aid’s oddly racist Do They Know It’s Christmas.

    Most are forgettable. But one of these newer attempts is, in fact, a near perfect Christmas song. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You is that song which was released 24 years ago and it’s pretty trendy to complain about this song, so I think it’s necessary to defend its honour this and every holiday season.

    Other declarations of love are more subtle, quiet and safe, but Mariah doesn’t want subtle or quiet or safe. In her song All I Want For Christmas Is You, the love Mariah feels is bursting at the seams and there’s nothing she can do but belt a high A about it.

    There’s something liberating about how happy this song is. Mariah’s affections may be unrequited, but she’s not going to let that stop her. Her earnest devotion is probably part of the reason why people think they don’t like it. Her openness and unabashed emotion make them uncomfortable in a culture where we are supposed to hide our feelings all the time. Mariah’s not hiding anything.

    So here is the truth during the Christmas season, no one wants to be alone. Christmas, more than any other holiday, including Valentine’s Day, is about love. From a theological perspective, it’s John 3:16: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that who so believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That’s the greatest love of all.

    However secularly, gifts are bought, cards are exchanged and families and friends gather round all because of love and we come together to remember what’s really important: each other and the love we share.

    Yes, this is a little schmaltzy, but Christmas is the one time of the year when it’s okay to be schmaltzy. Have you seen Love Actually? The theme of that movie is that love actually is all around, but it’s especially all around at Christmas. That’s a theme I can get behind.

    But when you’re surrounded by so much schmaltz and the love is not present, it’s a little less merry and bright. This brings me back to Mariah’s song. I had a conversation with mid-20s woman and she told me that almost every Christmas, she has earnestly sung along because her words resonate. She does not care about the gifts she receives but she just wants love for her own, more than the other person could ever know. All she wants for Christmas is you.

    If this column was part of one of the vignettes in Love Actually, this paragraph would identify who that “you” is, but that’s sort of irrelevant at the moment. The magic of the song is that everyone has a “you”. After all, if the song only resonated with a few people, it wouldn’t be so popular. But many singers have recorded their own, inferior versions because it speaks to all of us.

    Maybe it’s someone you have a crush on, maybe it’s your long-distance girlfriend or maybe it’s your family who you won’t see on Christmas Day. It might be a little needy or selfish, but we all just want love for Christmas. Mariah’s right… no amount of gifts could ever change this human desire.

    In general, I think the many different cultures in Namibia place too strong of an emphasis on romantic love as the most important or only relationship we can have, and that we don’t value our platonic bonds enough. So I don’t mean to suggest that the platonic friendships I will celebrate all month long aren’t as important as a hypothetical relationship with a hypothetical boyfriend.

    After all, my favourite plot in Love Actually is about the friendship between an aging rock star and his manager. The love I have for my family and friends is important and life-sustaining and wonderful. But sometimes, when the mistletoe comes out, and the couples cuddle and I’m left with visions of unrequited love dancing in my head, it’s good to know Mariah’s got my back with the song I’ll be singing in the shower all month long.

    I end by saying, we are all hyped by what we can do and enjoy in the holiday hence I urge you all to do it responsibly. Remember to sing along and happy festive season!

    justicia@myzone.com.na

    0 0

    Young hockey players rewardedYoung hockey players rewarded The Namibian Hockey Union (NHU) recently hosted the 2018 Bank Windhoek Junior Hockey Development League awards ceremony at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School.

    Medals were awarded to the under-10, 12 and 14 age groups in both the boys and girls A and B divisions.

    Saint Paul’s College won the girls’ u-10 A section competition, followed by Pioneers Park Primary School.

    The boys’ under-10 A section was also scooped by Saint Paul’s College, with Windhoek Gymnasium walking away with the second spot.

    The girls’ u-12 A section belonged to Windhoek Gymnasium, who were followed home by St George's Diocesan School.

    Windhoek Gymnasium and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School took the first and second prizes in the boys’ u-12 A section, respectively.

    The girls’ u-14 A section was won by Saint Paul’s College and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School were the runners-up.

    The boys’ u-14 A section was won by Windhoek Afrikaans Private School, followed by Windhoek Gymnasium.

    The development league kicked off in June and concluded in mid-August.

    It had a record entry of 95 teams from 10 different schools. The matches took place at the Windhoek Gymnasium and Wanderers hockey fields in Windhoek.

    “The league is an NHU hockey development programme initiative. It aims to develop the sport of hockey in Namibia by educating and grooming talented young hockey players. Despite challenges such as lack of resources for some schools, the junior hockey league continues to grow,” said Bank Windhoek’s head of corporate affairs, Hayley Allen.

    “Through the partnership with Bank Windhoek, the NHU is in the process of re-introducing hockey into schools and in the regions that have stopped playing the sport due to a lack of equipment and coaches.

    “This partnership started in 2015 and so far nine coaching clinics for coaches and children took place in seven regions in Namibia,” said NHU vice-president, Conrad Wessels.

    “We would like to congratulate the winning and participants teams for putting up incredible performances during the leagues fixtures. Thank you to Bank Windhoek for making this possible,” said Wessels.

    The B section winners were as follows:

    Girls’ u-10 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College C

    Boys’ u-10 -

    Winners: Windhoek Gymnasium

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College B

    Girls’ u-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Boys’ under-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Girls’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    Boys’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    0 0

    Young hockey players rewardedYoung hockey players rewarded The Namibian Hockey Union (NHU) recently hosted the 2018 Bank Windhoek Junior Hockey Development League awards ceremony at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School.

    Medals were awarded to the under-10, 12 and 14 age groups in both the boys and girls A and B divisions.

    Saint Paul’s College won the girls’ u-10 A section competition, followed by Pioneers Park Primary School.

    The boys’ under-10 A section was also scooped by Saint Paul’s College, with Windhoek Gymnasium walking away with the second spot.

    The girls’ u-12 A section belonged to Windhoek Gymnasium, who were followed home by St George's Diocesan School.

    Windhoek Gymnasium and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School took the first and second prizes in the boys’ u-12 A section, respectively.

    The girls’ u-14 A section was won by Saint Paul’s College and Windhoek Afrikaans Private School were the runners-up.

    The boys’ u-14 A section was won by Windhoek Afrikaans Private School, followed by Windhoek Gymnasium.

    The development league kicked off in June and concluded in mid-August.

    It had a record entry of 95 teams from 10 different schools. The matches took place at the Windhoek Gymnasium and Wanderers hockey fields in Windhoek.

    “The league is an NHU hockey development programme initiative. It aims to develop the sport of hockey in Namibia by educating and grooming talented young hockey players. Despite challenges such as lack of resources for some schools, the junior hockey league continues to grow,” said Bank Windhoek’s head of corporate affairs, Hayley Allen.

    “Through the partnership with Bank Windhoek, the NHU is in the process of re-introducing hockey into schools and in the regions that have stopped playing the sport due to a lack of equipment and coaches.

    “This partnership started in 2015 and so far nine coaching clinics for coaches and children took place in seven regions in Namibia,” said NHU vice-president, Conrad Wessels.

    “We would like to congratulate the winning and participants teams for putting up incredible performances during the leagues fixtures. Thank you to Bank Windhoek for making this possible,” said Wessels.

    The B section winners were as follows:

    Girls’ u-10 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College C

    Boys’ u-10 -

    Winners: Windhoek Gymnasium

    Runners-up: Saint Paul’s College B

    Girls’ u-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College B

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Boys’ under-12 -

    Winners: Saint Paul’s College

    Runners-up: Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

    Girls’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    Boys’ u-14 -

    Winners: Namutoni Primary School

    Runners-up: Eros Primary School

    SPORTS REPORTER

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