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THE origins of April Fools’ Day — a century old celebration of hoaxes and practical jokes — is unknown, but it will not be too farfetched to imagine that in Namibia, 1 April 2019 will in future be remembered as the day when traditional media humour on April’s Fools’ Day was officially declared dead.
The death of April Fools’ Day in Namibia might have many causes, but assassination by fake news might have finally killed a great tradition and history of imaginary or exaggerating news by traditional newspapers, television and radio stations.
A steady stream of fake news every second of the day from all corners of the world and tools to manipulate pictures, video and audio, makes it virtually impossible to distinguish between real news and fake news and even more so on April Fools’ Day.
With the death of the media tradition on April Fools’ Day, Namibians must be reminded to question more and investigate facts more. If fake news of the past two days had to be believed, Namibia would have been hit by the biggest Cyclone in living memory, political division, factionalism and tribalism would have Namibia on the brink of a Zimbabwe-style change of leadership and the economy of the nation collapsed to the point of a failed state.
It is a sad state of affairs indeed, but as sad as it is, it is also a time of deep self-reflection, because many of the challenges that Namibians face are being clouded by what is real and what is fake.
A lot of time, energy and dynamics are wasted while a nation has so much to do to secure a better future that is just eluding them at every turn.
Namibians might have lost a great tradition of jokes and hoaxes for one day of a year, but they should never lose their innocence as well.
Life is challenging enough. It does not have to go without a smile and laughter, because of a coldness that is creeping over the conscience of a nation that makes the blood in Namibians freeze.
The social media predators that look for victims to tear apart, should be exposed, isolated and silenced. They care about themselves and their so called commitment to communities is as fake as their concerns.
Much of Namibia’s challenges and problems is the result of fake leaders with fake priorities and benefitting from fake democracy, but somehow convinced themselves that it is real.
The reality is: Real Namibians have real expectations, because they make real sacrifices in order to weather political, economic and social storms.
Not on 1 April only, but everyday of their lives for the past three decades.
For that they deserve better!

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