IT is time to make a clear distinction between a fake-Namibia and a fact-Namibia.
Namibians must consider the reality that there is also a difference between re-imaging and right-imaging.
There are a handful of opportunists and self-appointed analysts who live comfortable lives, have good jobs and have the talent or connections to be first in every beneficiary line – from tenders to restaurant tables – that annoyingly try to convince fellow Namibians and the world that they miraculously survive and flourish in the most challenging of circumstances.
It’s not only dishonest, but simply not true and downright irresponsible.
The call from the President, Dr Hage Geingob, can only originate from the same frustration that the reasonable and silent majority share with him about the distortions of an over-amplified minority in the smallest corners of the far left and far right — whose only mission in life is to portray Namibia as corrupt, divided, destitute, lawless and hovering on the brink of medical genocide, to name but a few.
Yes, Namibia experiences challenges on every front and it is frustrating, but the right image of Namibia is significantly different from the fake Namibia.
The disunity and factionalism that are rammed into the throats of Namibians only exist in factions of political parties or tribal opportunists that invented what they wrongly believe is a more acceptable kind of racism, because now it is not white Namibians insulting black Namibians, but black Namibians insulting their fellow black Namibians.
It is worse than the dreaded apartheid because it is racism camouflaged and tolerated by colour that is the most insidious enemy within the gates in communities.
It is only because the vast majority of citizens from all backgrounds and corners of the country are united that Namibia can still withstand the factionalism and tribalism that some leaders desperately try to keep alive for themselves in order to pretend some relevance.
The facts are that leadership division infected every political party without exception. Parties are pacing the court corridors spending millions of dollars, where abiding by simple democratic decisions would have been enough.
It is clear that the Namibian courts are more trusted with democracy than the democratic parties trust themselves with.
Normal, everyday, law-abiding and hardworking Namibians are united and keep the peace, ensure stability and uphold the constitution. It is proof that those walking the streets or tending their crops, fields and livestock, wearing tattered political party T-shirts, are not infected by power struggles and opportunism, because with their meagre resources they have to remain inspired by optimism and pride in their gritty everyday effort.
Look no further for the right image of Namibia than the spirit of patriotism sweeping the country from the most luxurious palace to the most modest homestead somewhere in the African bush when our athletes get ready in the starting blocks, when the Namibian cricket team whose bravery and tenacity is described by the cricket world as a modern-day sport miracle, when the hockey girls who are giant slayers and when the Namibian rugby team whose fearless competitiveness is sought after on international playing fields.
On the international stage, President Geingob not only opened the closed Covid-19 doors in a locked-down United Nations, the United States, Europe and the African continent, but is respected in the Middle East, Asia and Russia where he and Namibia are well-respected and punching well above their weight with a policy of a “friend to all and an enemy to none”. Silencing the guns and no vaccine discrimination and his public defence of Africa in discovering the Omicron variant made Namibia and Africa proud and confirmed world citizenship.
At the COP-26 climate change summit in Scotland, Namibia presented the world with a green hydrogen programme ahead of its time, negotiating with neighbours and the international world for desalination of seawater transported over hundreds of kilometres, as well as a solar plant with Botswana whose scope few can imagine.
Namibia could have advised the world at the climate summit to follow its example by adopting the utilisation of its natural resources as a sustainable foundation in their constitutions, also amongst a handful of societies.
The right image of Namibia is a constitutional democracy where the third president is a remaining father and the product of an orderly handing over of power since Independence.
Namibians are now exiting the fourth Covid-19 wave after successfully withstanding every onslaught that this pandemic could muster since it was introduced by two Romanian tourists who entered Namibia via Spain. The Health line held through tough and good leadership.
These are not small achievements, but easy to forget when the jailed and embarrassing Fishrot criminals dominate the news and the knowledge that there are still corrupt officials in the government and town councils who dare to believe and introduce themselves as “honourable”.
At best, the politicking of corruption is frustrating, but at worst, it hides even bigger corruption elsewhere that every Namibian knows and talks about on the sidewalks, street corners and at trees at watering holes.
The important and arrogant will maybe not recognize the simple fact that Namibia is welcoming refugees, from poverty-stricken to war-ravaged, and are treating them as guests while no Namibian is fleeing Namibia to find refuge in another country.
This is the right Namibia and re-imaging Namibia deserves all the support to make this great country even greater where the selfish and the arrogant are kept free by the majority who shoulder the burden and soldier on.
They will be in the frontline of re-imaging Namibia, because the launching pad is the Right-Image of Namibia.