By Apostle Marson Sharpley
AS a nation, we all have stories to tell, both individually and collectively, as families and communities.
Stories are created in their time and told over time for many reasons and to those ready to listen and they have a way of either exposing some of the actors in them insulating some.
Stories, especially about real people and real situations unfold as history and history immortalizes the past which impacts the present to affect the future.
However, the truth misplaced leads to heresy and the truth misunderstood leads to frustration.
It is amazing how facts are so often misrepresented, either deliberately or by mistake through misinformation and disinformation or even no information.
As people, we think, speak and act daily within set norms and values in our quest to build our families, communities and nations.
In our contemporary times, we effect, and affect our own lives and those of people around us by often times being influenced by the media and the stories we are told or we witness.
Our fight against the cruel racist apartheid regime is not merely a fireplace story, it is real. And for those of us who were not armchair choir masters, it is even more real, but on the whole, it is really real for all because all were affected.
In those days when it was unsafe to be part of the liberation struggle, many, either ran from us or even turned on us, but of course we have reconciled as was expected of us.
To the younger generation, one of the positive attributes of the good old bad days of our fight for freedom is that we read a lot, we debated a lot, we held and attended many workshops, seminars and trainings. All these were directed by content to liberate ourselves. Every revolutionary was eager to lay their hands on progressive writings. We were eager to grow our own food and make our own clothes. We even turned our days, months and years in prison, unless we were in solitary confinement, into institutions of education.
Football matches and all athletics meetings included robust discussions and debates on freedom and liberation. And of course there was a deep sense of respectability and dignity about being a revolutionary. Note that I did not mention a sense of celebrity. The celebrity culture is one that came recently with selfish materialism and what I term bubblegum politics where we now major on the minors and minor on the majors of life.
I believe that if we are serious about a d d r e s s i n g the scourge of illiteracy, of poverty, of gender based violence, of crime and corruption, then the need for deeper, more serious conversation with the intensity it deserves. This conversation needs to vigorously take place instead of being a by the way discussion or workshop which is regarded as less important than deal making for personal benefits. This is while we celebrate each other in air conditioned board rooms not even realizing that we have been assimilated into systems we think we run and yet run us because their custodians are thousands of miles away in far off lands. We need to take the mounds they give us and then remold them to fit our needs, aims and objectives because it is after all Africa’s time. It is after all supposed to be Namibia’s time. It is after all supposed to be SADC’s time!
Our time for what, one may venture to ask?
Our time to rise and shine. Our time to be self sufficient when it comes to food security. Our time to grow our economies by fast tracking manufacturing and seriously encouraging SME development.
Our time to address the evil of corruption brought about by individual greed at the expense of the national collective vision.
We need to address the issue of cynicism, in fighting, sabotaging one another, gate keeping and down right cheap gossip.
This culture of bubblegum politics is also to a large extent driven by a spirit of entitlement. Yes, being rewarded for one’s effort is both gratifying and noble, but once we start to demand without contributing to the advancement of the common good, then our demands are misplaced and tantamount to entitlement.
The issues facing any nation including Namibia in the globalize twenty first century requires and even demand undecided attention, robust discussions and continuous research beyond the tribal chit chat, beyond religious bickering, beyond selfish political infighting.
The same dignity with which we fought the liberation struggle, is the same dignity and sense of purpose with which we should be waging the economic struggle.
This unbecoming bubblegum politics so disgusting and undermining that it even works at trying to undermine and diminish the efforts of government to address matters that affect us all.
Namibia has been and is still celebrated internationally, but we must never take this for granted because the very institutions that celebrate us internationally also have the potential to turn on us as was the case in our economic down grading last year.
We have the European Union instructing it’s ambassadors to seek audience with our President on the issues that they realize affect even them and their offspring living on the continent. This is because the issues such as land and the economic empowerment of the vast majority of our people are very serious matters that demand that even while we enjoy cocktail parties and normal living, like the celebration of a child’s birthday, a wedding celebration, a baptism or graduation, the discussion of improving the lot of our people should never be a taboo.
Instead we find ourselves bombarded by the most astounding and craziest social media reports calling themselves Breaking News and the likes and reporting the most unwarranted hogwash aimed at State House, forcefully pulling in the President, the First Lady, their family and associates as well as national leaders of the ruling party both active and retired. This is bubblegum politics.
It is bubblegum politics that influences journalists to be biased and over zealous in their reporting of wrong facts. It is bubblegum politics that aims to cynically trash everything that President Hage Geingob and our elected leaders put in place to address the societal challenges of our country.
What is it that drives this bubblegum politics, the politics that is in fact not politics, the politics that demeans all and sundry and rubbishes the noble fight that was fought for freedom and liberation. It is GREED driven by psychophantism.
It is bubblegum politics that makes an entire society and nation suspicious of each other from the family unit to the national level.
This does not in anyway rule out the fact that there are still amazing, skilled and educated progressive specialists among us.
Part II to be continued next week
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015