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Offbeat 04 March 2016

I ‘m not good at groups, except the one that forms from time to time at the pub, to sit outside on the wall and smoke, shoot the breeze and discuss the relative merits of whatever clouds the day brings us. Now that the former right honourable has banned us from smoking inside, we seem to end up on that wall quite a lot.
We have to sit on the wall. The owner had to move the chairs, tables and umbrellas inside because of the uncivil swines who thought that pillaging chairs was a good, free alternative to actually going to the furniture store and buying a couple.
Perhaps it does serve some kind of purpose, that gathering outside. It’s an honourable thing not to share second hand smoke and, if we smoke enough, perhaps Namibia’s carbon emissions will increase so much that the country will be able to claim some kind of subsidy for carbon reduction, or whatever they call it. But I know that we still have a long way to go before we can compete with the pollution of vehicles, which the former right honourable did not choose to ban.
The groups that form there feel fairly good. I never have to move much, at least not much further than back inside to get a refill and talk to whatever unsuspecting person is standing at the bar, from where I place my order.
Aside from the fact that it is painted green, my favourite colour, and it is just the right height for a comfy seat that can’t be stolen, one of the other things I like about the wall is that I never really have to move to go somewhere, else aside from brief trips inside.
Maybe the people know me well enough to understand that I would not feel comfy leaving this outdoor lounge, and don’t invite me elsewhere. They don’t engage me in debate about where we might go together, and that is where this column’s riff kicks off.
It feels like everyone wants to belong, only the club just got larger or perhaps the village got smaller.
I remember donkey’s years ago, when I was more open to being a social animal, that there were long debates about where to go and what to do.
It reminded me a bit of haggling in the market. The most masterful of people would ultimately be able to obtain consensus in his or her favour about the next destination or activity, and everyone would follow.
I got the impression that in almost all instances of this sort of social horse trading that the venue became a secondary aspect to many. Even if a person didn’t want to go to a specific place, the benefits of the company outweighed disadvantages of the venue. If group leaders were sufficiently popular, they could sway the group to move on to a party in that section of the rubbish dump where a pile of rotting offal accumulated.
It’s the same with thought, it appears. People will go along with anyone who is sufficiently charismatic, even if that charisma entails utterances of racism, genocidal intent and even an obsessive fixation of the latest teen pop star.
I keep on looking around and seeing this. Thought or personal preference doesn’t enter into the thing at all.
So where do we get change from? Once thought patterns are fixed, it seems be heresy to suggest that there might be an alternative.
To illustrate the point, who decided that Justin Bieber was an idol, and that everyone should like him? How many people actually decided to like him because they liked him, not because of belonging with someone else?
And who was the person who decided that he should be vilified, sweeping a whole bunch of people along with that strand of thought.
Both of those people must have been people who thought the impossible, something that nobody might have believed, or ‘beliebed’, otherwise, or even paid attention to.
Thinking the impossible, and charting a course changes the world. At least for Justin Bieber. And it also got a couple of people to the moon.
I love the wall outside the pub. It allows me to join in with other people and what they believe, and when the group disperses, I can go back home and think the impossible again. Cheers.

About The Author


Today the Typesetter is a position at a newspaper that is mostly outdated since lead typesetting disappeared about fifty years ago. It is however a convenient term to indicate a person that is responsible for the technical refinement of publishing including web publishing. The Typesetter does not contribute to editorial content but makes sure that all elements are where they belong. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.