IN his song ‘Omwedi owasa’, part in the album titled ‘Judgement Day’, talented Namibian Kwaito artist David Shikalepo, popularly known as Exit, begins with these lyrics; “same ****, just different toilets, same music just a different beat….” highlighting the daily experiences of social degeneration in our society.
‘Omwedi owasa’ narrates hyper-hustling on the part of our sisters who have made it their business to siphon money from brothers with seemingly undomesticated desires of female company. To feeble minds the lyrics of Exit have nothing to do with the observation of politics and society. To these pedestrians, music is not seen as an aspect of society that reflects the social consciousness of a people. When we encounter these feeble minds we will impenitently refer them to the lucid words of one of the most conscious Jamaican reggae musicians, Peter Tosh (real name Winston McIntosh, who lived between 1944 and 1987), who explained to feeble minds that “music is a science, it heals depression, it awakens, most people don’t know, they just take music for entertainment, something to dance to, and enjoy yourself and you go to bed and forget it tomorrow. Music must never be forgotten, it’s like a fountain that keeps on flowing”. Indeed, music can form part of the analysis of the dynamic facing society. As I had stated elsewhere, as political scientists we do not need permission to observe politics or actors in society.
Exit narrative of ‘same ****, just different toilets’ offers various lessons, for illustrative purposes, on how Namibia functions today. One of the immediate things it does is to generate a comparative analytical framework; how similarities are to be found in differences and vice versa. It can also be understood as similar to an old English proverb that states that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I was extremely shocked by the responses of many people to the news that one of our boxers at the Olympic Games, Jonas Junias, was arrested on allegations of attempted rape. What concerned me the most was the responses of people who supposed to be enlightened yet placed themselves in uncritical positions. Worse, even leaders took similar positions. They made public statements that Junias did not do what he is accused of. Many of them were/are not even in Brazil but concluded that the boxer did not conduct himself as alleged.
Some of them created hashtags such as #PrayforJonas. These protagonists did not even make provision for the prospects of truth. Those in my circle failed to answer the following questions; what if the allegations are true, what will you do? On what foundation do you base your position? Does it mean that boxers at Olympic Games are not capable of committing a crime? Does rape become of less significance when a celebrity is involved? Let it be made clear that it is not a view or a position of this columnist that Jonas Junias is guilty of anything. This columnist still believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty without making baseless declarations excluding any prospect on account that whatever it is, truth exist out there. What becomes clear here again is the narrative of ‘same **** just different toilets.’
Those who disagree must be quickly referred to the archives of history where we find coincidentally another Junias, Junias Fillipus, who was accused of rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl Magdalena Stoffels on 17 July 2010. It was made known that later on the same day Magdalena was raped and murdered, a police officer found Junias Fillipus washing clothes in the same riverbed approximately 300 to 500 metres from where Magdalena’s body was found. Junias Fillipus was arrested because in the mind of a police officer, the scratch marks on his knees and back plus blood stains on the clothes are to be connected to the crime. Because Junias Fillipus was ‘dirty’ and not a celebrity, no one went public to even urge for the principle of innocent until proven guilty. The Namibian media presented Junias Fillipus as cold blooded murderer. As a case in point, it was reported that about 3 000 people marched from Dawid Bezuidenhout High School to Katutura Magistrate Court to protest Magdalena’s rape and murder. They even delivered a petition to Deputy Prosecutor General Johnny Truter. I saw posters on social media that read “cut off his ****” referring to Junias Fillipus’ private part. These responses of the public were justified, according to commentators, given the escalating gender-based violence in the country and how serious the citizens view rape. Of interest in this case is its aftermath. After a year, the analysis of the forensic evidence, seemingly including the blood stains, could not conclusively link Junias Fillipus to the crime. He was thus released from police custody. The last report we heard from this case was that his lawyers were suing the police for unlawful arrest, unlawful detention, and malicious prosecution. No one was courageous enough to publicly accept and submit that they were mistaken or misled on Junias Fillipus; having formed negative views and perception (including wishing death upon him) on baseless grounds. Many of those protesters believed that Junias Fillipus was guilty.
While the context of the extent may appear different the principles remains the same. ‘Same ****, just different toilets’ as Exit states in his song. Central to this case is hypocrisy and the problematic perspective that places celebrities into some sort of ‘super-human’ category. It is not just Exit who sees ‘same ****, just different toilets’. Let us remember the observations of American philosopher George Denis Carlin; “think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us; all men are created equal. All ‘men’ except Indians, niggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what’s known as being stunningly–and embarrassingly–full of ****.” We should be concerned and worry when we begin to see the massaging of principles and creating categories where the principles as set aside because individuals with names are involved. If need be we must openly state without fear; same ****, just different toilets.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015