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This week in the Khuta – Be proudly Namibian

Last year, the government launched a campaign “My country, My pride.” It was a good campaign, and I commend the government for doing so. But sometimes I wonder and ask myself, where is the pride? If you attend press conferences and other meetings, very often you’ll observe that there is very little pride in Namibians.
What I understand by ‘my country my pride’ is that it should include supporting and buying local products and representing Namibia in whatever way possible. Earlier this month, one of our local manufacturers also complained that they get too little support from our government in terms of local purchases. What happened to Team Namibia?
Now my concern is, if we as Namibians are not supporting our local products, who do we expect to support them? How do we expect our country to develop and curb the unemployment rate, that is so shockingly high? All these issues go hand in hand, and it all starts with you as a Namibian. Our leaders should start putting their money where their mouth is.
Lately, I’ve been seeing ladies – mostly students – carrying bags that seem to be the ‘in thing’ these days. These bags, which are said to be made in China and are in abundant stock at the infamous China Town, come in two varieties. The bags are branded South Africa and Nanmibia. And if you think you read Namibia, please read again. What irks me about these bags is not the fact that they are made in China, neither the fact that they are in abundance. But the main annoying thing is that our country’s name is mispelt and to make it worse, our own Namibian ladies are buying and proudly carrying these bags around! I personally see that error by the manufacturers as an insult. Every time I see one I feel like ripping it off and tearing it apart. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as violent as that sounds, just really irritated!
If you go to other countries, you’ll see how much pride and respect people have for their countries, even those with leaders more corrupt than ours. I’m always so amazed by international students, such as Zambians and Botswana studying in Namibia. They are full of pride and represent their countries in whatever way possible, but I’m sure when Namibian students go abroad they forget who they are, when they ought to be ambassadors.
So my fellow Namibians, I think it’s time we got comfortable with our identity and be proud Namibians. As for those bags, I hope to not see them any more.

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