'We can and will be unified as a community': Chief Afrikaner

03 Mar 2019 12:00pm
MARIENTAL, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – The Nama-speaking people should educate children and youth more to show the world they can and will be unified as a community and take their rightful place in the social and economic structure of Namibia and beyond.
This plea was made by Chief of the |Hôa |Aran ||Aixa ||Aes Afrikaner Traditional Authority, Eduard Afrikaner who was speaking at the 2019 Annual Nama Cultural Festival gala dinner here on Saturday.
He said the youth in the Nama community should not be ashamed of who they are as they have already made remarkable progress.
“There are many more Nama people to inspire and bring back to appreciate their cultural heritage. There are more people to uplift; hard work starts now when we are at our houses and communities, let us inspire each other and organise ourselves,” he said. The chief further condemned the perception that Nama people are ‘drunkards and lazy people’.
“I strongly condemn that narrative. Our people are not lazy, our people are not drunkards either. Someone, somewhere wants to put that plague on us and somehow because we are not united and well organised, they succeeded in making us believe this,” Afrikaner said.
He pointed out that work done by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association and events such as the Nama festival are done by Nama people, questioning how lazy people and drunkards can demonstrate such hard work and innovation.
“People do not want to see our success stories, look at Auta !Nanseb (Hendrik Witbooi), the Germans called him chief strategist, look at Jonker Afrikaner the founder of Windhoek, he built railways - how can we the descendants of such great leaders be labelled as drunkards and lazy?”
He went on to say that there are many Nama people who are qualified in their respective areas of expertise and many play pivotal roles in the socio-economic development of Namibia.
“We are playing our part, we are contributing to the upliftment of this country as well. All we want and what our children want is a fair chance to sit at the table and be provided the same opportunities as all other people,” the chief said.
Afrikaner urged that the Nama festival be used to destroy negative social perceptions that the entire nation has about the Nama community.
He concluded by saying as community they are aware that times have changed and that there are opportunities for social and economic welfare in Namibia.
“As Nama people, we are already working and prepared to work hard and also be beneficiaries of the resources of our regions of origin,” he said.
The second edition of the annual festival will take place from 30 May until 02 June 2019 at the Westdene Stadium in Keetmanshoop.
This year’s festival will be held under the theme ‘|Hao da ni’, which means ‘we will come together’.
The key objective of the festival is to strive for unity, development and social cohesion within the Nama community, as well as the broader Khoisan community.