The Central Bank of Namibia on the 21 March launched a commemorative banknote under the theme: 'Three decades of a smooth transfer of power'.
During his introduction of this new note, the Governor of the Bank of Namibia Iipumbu Shiimi had what I consider a very intriguing speech under the headline: Do Namibians have good reasons to celebrate Independence Anniversary?
Allow me to digress. As a former journalist with a four year degree in the field, I feel that I am quite capable of expressing myself and forming a sound, valid and unbiased opinion on almost anything. Therefore it will be no problem for me and take zero effort for me, to run to social media and point out all the socio-economic challenges we face as a nation, and what the President and the democratically elected Government of this country should and should not be doing.
I can write about the most recent Fishrot. I can write about the missing millions from GIPF and other institutions. I can write about pregnant women living in deplorable conditions in the north. Or kids having school under trees. 2000 teenagers falling pregnant in one region. Baby dumping. Domestic violence. Passion killings. COVID-19. The list is endless really.
But I do not. I do not because firstly I am a citizen of this world and secondly I am a proud Namibian citizen. I have a duty and a responsibility, as a citizen of the world and of Namibia, to do my part in the name of patriotism. For every finger I point at the President and the democratically elected government, three are pointing back at me.
At this juncture I will introduce the quotes of John F. Kennedy when he uttered historical words, in his inaugural address: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," and that of famous Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi who said: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
To get back to my point. Do Namibians have good reasons to celebrate Independence Anniversary? Why not? Other then pointing fingers at the President and the democratically elected government, what have you, as a citizen of this nation, contributed to want to celebrate Namibia's Independence Anniversary?
"The freedom of expression that Namibians enjoy today is not enjoyed by countless nations around the world and especially so for African nation. This is a reason to celebrate independence." "The peace and stability that we are enjoying today is the foundation of all the progress we have made. And therefore we deserve to celebrate independence." "Despite the challenges that we are facing, we need to look back and celebrate the progress we have made so far."
"We are not oblivious of the socio-economic challenges we face as a nation, but we have to look back at the progress we have made." "We must not take it for granted that there has been a smooth transfer of power among these three presidents. From Founding President Dr. Sam Nujoma, to Former President Dr. Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba to His Excellency Dr. Hage G Geingob."
We have got it relatively good in this country compared to other countries in this world. And yes you have the right to vent all you want, but at the end of the day, Dr Hage will still be president in the morning and the socio-economic challenge will still persist. The bigger question is, are you going to run to social media and complain some more, or are you finally going to make a difference? How can you make a difference? Just look around you. You will see it, and you will know what to do.
This is not Comrade Hage Geingob's country alone, no is it the democratically elected government's alone. It is your country. Therefore as a Namibian citizen you have an obligation to make sure that this country has a reason to celebrate every 21 March on our independence day.