The Windhoek Observer sent its intern reporters to Maerua Mall in Windhoek to record random views about what March 21 means to member of the public and what they will be doing on that day.
Johanna Julius, stated that 29 years of independence is something worth celebrating- “My Namibia, my pride!’’ I like Namibia because of its diverse cultures, different people and landscapes in the southern and northern parts of the country. The coast is the best as I love the view of the ocean and there are always a lot of people on the beach, especially during the holidays. Being with different people from all over the world is a great experience. On Independence Day, I will be home with my family in Windhoek.”
Addy Maria says it’s not about celebrating independence but honouring those who fought and died for our freedom. “I’m proud to be a Namibian because it’s a beautiful, peaceful country. We are free from oppression and our people are a great mix of different languages and diverse cultures. I like the fact that my country is well governed as we are able to speak freely as youth and our opinions are valued. On the day of Independence, I remember what our heroes did for us to be where we are today. I pray for our country and its future goals. I will spend this day at the stadium in the official ceremony.
Daniel Ngololo says, Namibia is a very lovely country with many natural resources that make it unique. “I’m proud being a Namibian because of the different Namibian cultures. We have interesting attractions for tourists and local people. This has made me realise how rich my country is. It has a beautiful weather and it’s not overpopulated. On Independence Day, sadly, I will be working.
Derrek Retief is a proud Namibian and loves the country’s natural friendliness. “We are a family in Namibia as we always help each other. I love my country due to the fact that we all respect one another and we have freedom of speech in our constitution that protects every Namibian citizen. I will spend the Independence Day with my family at a nature reserve in Okahandja.
Alexandra Basil, a tourist from Russia, commented on the beauty of Namibia for the past 15 days she been in Namibia. “The Namibian people are accommodating and respectful. I was surprised by the multiple cultures in the country. I love the structure of the city and the small number of people living here, unlike the big city where I come from in Russia. This country has proper infrastructure and roads. On the 21st March I will be spending my day at the stadium, to hear and learn about the freedom fighters and how Namibia achieved independence.
One mall pedestrian, who prefers to be anonymous, is not proudly Namibian. “I don’t feel as a Namibian at all, I was born and bred in this country and I still don’t have a job, or a place that I can call home after so many years of Independence. The country is filled with careless leaders that are full of corruption and are liars. Come this year’s Election Day, they will be knocking at our doors wanting us to vote for them, to me it’s an insult. A lot are saying being a Namibian means freedom of speech but to me, it means freedom of corruption.”
Another comment we received from others and which we read in the local media was that several people feel that in this economic crisis, the money being spent on national day celebrations should rather be spent in areas where the people are not receiving needed services due to budget cuts, like schools, police and hospitals.
Reading other sources, we have taken note that a few people have said that they do not attend the official National Day celebrations because they see it as a SWAPO rally, rather than an inclusive national celebration.
We are happy that all of us live in a free Namibia where people can speak their minds regardless of what their opinions are and choose to celebrate holidays exactly as they please. National Day belongs to all of us. Happy 29th Birthday Namibia!