By Gavin Kolz
NUMBER one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness – Martin Luther King Jr.
Before any nation can improve its socio-economic circumstances, it must take stock of its assets. That being said, the human resource of an African nation is rarely valued higher than the commodities it may produce – despite it being the most important resource any nation can have. I hope to convince the reader with this essay that in order for Namibia to conquer its social ills, it must value its citizens above everything else. We must celebrate each individual’s values and agency in affirming human freedom and progress in Africa. Africans are quite resilient, but since we have faced so many indignities, it seems that many have lost their drive to adapt and grow.
We allow advertising content to strategically dictate our social norms, by excluding and repressing people. We still pull our daughters’ hair from their roots to satisfy our need for social acceptance and the hope of a stable life – albeit the fact that not only are we degrading our appearance, but we are perpetuating the degradation of our sisters in foreign countries, who sell their crowns for bread.
We threw away attire that helped us survive the harshest climates in the world for thousands of years. Today, several international corporations provide the majority of the population of the Africa with predetermined fashions, which have cost poor low-wage workers their lives.
The three major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have secured their place in a large portion of the world – more so in Africa. Africans have discarded many cultural nuances to accommodate the faith of the conqueror.
We must acknowledge my brothers and sisters, that we are diverse. This diversity is a result of our adaptive abilities. History is littered with evidence of human ingenuity and not just of one ethnicity. We should respect the fact that the invaders travelled long distances to acquire our resources, but they should respect us for living in very harsh conditions, simply.
Each African in the Diaspora has the ability to uniquely influence African history. Once we discard dogma and superstition, we will be capable of rational problem-solving. It is very important that we become aware of our own cultures and respect those of others in our communities. Remember, brothers and sisters, that the world reveres us because of our diversity.
I am adamant that we can turn things around in Namibia and secure promising futures for everyone. I can also admit that it will not happen soon and will require hard work. I regularly admonish myself that change is inevitable, and so too is death. I often pray that my children will live in a day where they will never regret their own inaction. I pray for a time when truly, ‘the Land of the Brave’, has meaning.
Strum, Oh Friend
This is the strum of life. It’s first filled with sweaty strife and nothing rhymes.
Yet the notes feel so alive.
This is the strum of love, where experienced hands become rough, after constant blistered hugs and nights of wild tugs.
This is the strum of trust, where a verse may cut with brilliant thrust and rid the frets of dust.
This is the strum of patience, where we wait for due elation and during much anticipation we keep to the scale for emancipation.
This is the strum of peace, where we count the notes with ease, a time may come for release; and that is all the great riff my need.
This is the strum of hope. Each string beauty on its own, yet together life and love is sown, at the end of a gramophone.
This is the strum of death; allbut muted strings are left. From nut to saddle I have stressed, and by God I am blessed.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015