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Looking past the speed hump

20 December 2012
Author   Anna Salkeus

I WOULD describe 2012 as the year of two extremes - the both good and the bad. Putting a stumble into words that can further elaborate the story I am about to tell is sometimes not the easiest taskbut when the hand becomes the beholder of the pen, there is no telling what the end result will be.


Stumble means to stagger or walk unsteadily because of an obstacle in your way. The year 2012 was filled with obstacles. Some of which most of us never thought we would encounter in our lives.

The other morning, I drove through Windhoek West on my way to work when suddenly I had to slow down because I was approaching a speed hump - a brand new speed hump. At first I did not realize what I had driven over but after a second, I found myself making a U-turn to the same speed hump to confirm that there was indeed a new speed hump at that spot.

With the music on the radio now in the background, and my “too slow for traffic” cautious driving, I rode over the speed hump again . . . this time really slowly and in the first gear.

With my hands firmly gripping the steering wheel, I looked over my shoulder and saw this man made phenomena I had driven over like it had just dropped there from nowhere, like no one made it or caused it to be there.

In my mind, I could only hear the words, “May Day, we have a problem,” or was it “Houston we have a problem?”

The year 2012 was like the speed hump in Windhoek West in many respects; needlessly unpredictable. And if we were presented with the choice to go back to some of the decisions we made in 2012, how many of us would drive back the way I did over the man-made restriction?

How many of us would be able to say, we expected 2012 to turn out the way it did?

A close friend recently told me that because he did not marry the woman he intended to marry, he was now reaching new levels of depression. 2012 was depressing.

So depressing, that the feeling became a speed hump; something that greeted and slowed you down every morning on your way to work.

My boss Mbatjiua Ngavirue asked me what I was grateful for in 2012. My response was a cheeky, little curse of indignation (that sound only Oshiwambo speaking women make when they are annoyed or disgusted). I told him that 2012 was the worst year ever for me.

Well not entirely, it was just a little complicated. Like the zebra stripes on a speed hump.

If we have something to be grateful for, wouldn’t it be life? Take it from me a crime reporter. Once you have seen the manner in which lives were lost or how passion killings took place this year, then you would realise that between the times you woke up an opportunity for death was there.

The ceiling could have come down on you, the car you drove could have gone over Simon De Wet Bridge while you were racing to work, or while you were at your local chill out spot in Eveline Street, someone could have walked up to you and stuck a broken piece of glass into your body. It happened to others . . . so just say Thank You Lord that it was not you.

And then there were the New Year’s resolutions. The ones that were put in writing and declared effective as of 1 January 2012 . . . remember that bucket-list-unrealistic resolution you designed with the aim to improve your life?

Mine failed eight hours after declaration after I sneakily indulged in a cup of coffee after promising to quit the caffeine intake for the year. And to prove just how unreal the list was, I even I promised to remove by any means, motorbikes out of parking bays intended for motor vehicles in places where I had no other choice.

Picture me picking up a motorbike by its saddle and tossing it away? Enough said.

Besides being grateful for being alive, I never thought I would master and become an expert on new topics of interest like congress, crime, law, finance and human interactions in less than 24 hours and then share my experiences and expert knowledge with readership body. My hat goes off to all the reporters and journalists who have been doing this for years.

Last, but certainly not least, the people with whom I got the opportunity to have one-on-one interviews and profiles, who always asked me how I identified them or heard about the work they do.

There is a saying I made up five minutes ago that goes: “A road that has a speed hump will always have a success story ahead of it,” and that is how I found you.

To my family, readers, colleagues at the Windhoek Observer, neighbours in Rossini Street, law enforcement agents, acquaintances and friends, sources and future endeavours, I wish you a Bless Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
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