With all the terrible news circulating, we need to fight to stay positive. We read about the staggering rape-murder cases and xenophobia in South Africa, women still being killed by their former partners, burning forests in the Amazon, and corruption and crime in Namibia.
This makes it hard to look at anything with excitement. In spite of the negative, it is important to not give up the fight to make tomorrow a better day.
I often find myself in moments of self-pity. Then, I pick myself up and say, “it’s my life, I only have one and I am going to make the best of it.”
When I look at our situation in Namibia, it worries me. While complaining gives a temporary emotional quick fix, it does not provide a long-term solution.
We all know Namibia is rife with corruption at varying levels. We have all seen it; we have all heard about it, and most people are directly or indirectly doing it or benefitting from it. Our President claimed that only two questions about corruption emerged at the town hall meetings. He shockingly used that as evidence that corruption is not a major problem in Namibia. Living in denial does not help find solutions - it makes things worse.
Namibia’s healthcare is another major concern. How many people do you know that have gone to a public hospital for a minor injury or an undiagnosed illness and returned home only to have a worse case days later (because they were misdiagnosed)? How many people have received the wrong medication for a completely unrelated illness (due to malpractice)?
I have a cousin who was prescribed TB medication only to find out much later that he had a rare form of blood cancer! Luckily, he was strong enough to survive the medical errors. We all know about the woman who dropped dead in a waiting room because no one would believe her desperate pleas to see the doctor immediately. There are constant reports of insufficient supplies, nurses unpaid for overtime, unclean hospitals, expired and ineffective drugs, not enough pharmacists, excessively long waiting room time, and cold-hearted healthcare personnel. The sad reality is, these complaints are normal in Namibia and “no money” is the usual excuse given.
However, I counter that argument. Founding President Sam Nujoma is planning to build another new mall in the north. Swapo is building a new headquarters for hundreds of millions of dollars. I ask those who are amongst the wealthiest in the country with so much money to spend, why not donate funds to alleviate healthcare emergencies?
State money is available for various celebrations. The government regularly hosts official visitors, the president takes questionable state visits with large delegations, S&T is handed out for civil servants to take non-urgent in-country assignments and yet, there is not enough to operate a hospital properly? Government priorities are misplaced.
Crime in Namibia has become an even bigger concern over the years. This has led to the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) and NamPol “Operation Kalahari” to battle crime. There is a statistical decrease in crime in Windhoek credited to the taskforce. And yet, citizens have cried out against the government’s decision to put armed and untrained soldiers on civilian streets. These soldiers do not know the law and react badly towards citizens. Reports of aggressive harassment, violations of rights, illegal detentions, and murder are rampant with soldiers in the street. Are they being trained to stop shooting unarmed people?
With all these problems how do we stay motivated and positive? We must find a way. If we give up and give in to the negative side of life, then there will be no end.
Readers, if you or someone you know has no income, keep trying to find a job. Better still, be innovative and create your own informal SME. If possible, sacrifice some time and energy and volunteer as an intern or apprentice. This can give you a few months of experience and exposure. Work hard, prove your worth and when a job opening comes up, you might be in the prime location to step right in. As tough as things can get, there is always a way out. You have to find it.
Let us try to do our part in improving our situation at home, at church, at work, and in our communities. Let’s not wait for our government for anything.
Wherever you work, try and do your job with eagerness and positivity. Get to work on time and be the best person you can be. Don’t wake up, go to work, and ruin someone else’s day by delivering poor customer service and poor quality products.
It’s about time the notion of ‘see nothing, hear nothing’ in Namibia comes to an end. Instead, we must instill the ‘love thy neighbor’ mentality in all that we do.
If we all work together as a people, we can be the change.