Hanse-Himarwa slams Nama history critics

19 May 2016 18:50pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 19 MAY (NAMPA) – Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says “falsehoods and lies” spread about Nama history by citizens of the country should stop.
In an often emotive speech during the opening of the Nama Pride Exhibition at the Keetmanshoop Museum on Thursday, Hanse-Himarwa said the distortion of a proud history of the Nama people should be condemned.
“The so-much disputed time frame (1904-1908 and earlier) on the role Nama people have played in fighting for this country mars a very noble history. Do not glorify one and look down on the other,” she said.
The minister said tribal superiority and inferiority complexes were rife in Namibia, with some people believing that only their clans or cultures were worthy of respect.
“This practice of making others feel inferior kills our nation. Nobody is better than the other,” she said.
Without being specific, Hanse-Himarwa also said history should not be fragmented to tell a tale that suits the agenda of some people in the country.
“One sacrifice for our liberation is not more worthy of the other. Every Namibian has played a role, big or small, in our struggle. Go back to where it started and you will see that one act follows an earlier effort.”
She urged Namibians to embrace the cultural diversities instead of using it as weapons to destroy one another, and to use the slogan “One Namibia, One Nation” meaningfully.
“Let us not use that valuable and important slogan only when it suits us. Give back dignity to those who have lost it – only then will we become a harmonious Namibian house full of satisfied people.”
The senior Swapo Party member also cautioned Namibians to resist “those elements who want to derail” President Hage Geingob’s vision of unity.
“Those who use a smokescreen of grabbing land to derail peace are there to undermine the leadership of the day,” Hanse-Himarwa alleged, presumably referring to the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) land activist group.
“Those of us born on a white man’s farm where our parents worked know what it is like to be landless. Do not play with this [issue],” she warned.
The Nama exhibition, funded by the Finnish Embassy, was put together by the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) and the Keetmanshoop Municipality.
A highlight for many locals was the unveiling of a bronze statue of the Nama founder of Keetmanshoop, Chief Hendrik Tseib, in the town’s Central Park.