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If you have nothing to complain about, what good are you to humanity?

If you have nothing to complain about, what good are you to humanity?

You get days, and you get ‘other’ days. Personally my idea of calling it a day is when the work is done and I can clock off without feeling that something is unfinished. If you want me to concede that the day was good, throw in time off, a couple of books smelling of fresh ink, the chance to sleep the afternoon away and a pizza delivery in the evening.

My tastes and ambitions are far less complicated, hormonal and inebriated now that I have been able to say goodbye to being a ‘kid’. Unfortunately I still get ‘other’ days. I’m sure you also know these ‘other’ days as well. On ‘other’ days you discover the reason for your colleagues’ stress-free smiles is due to the fact that they haven’t kept up with the tasks that you need done to proceed with your part of the job. Devices that used to hum just above the subliminal border of hearing start buzzing like chainsaws. Bank managers finally start paying attention to you or, worse yet, you discover that they really haven’t been paying attention to you at all.

I don’t mind ‘other’ days. Sometimes ‘it’ happens and you just happen to be the one step into it and track it all over the expensive new shag carpet that can’t be shampooed. It’s probably got something to do with the ‘karmic balance’ thing, and maybe you should have given that beggar a couple of dollars and a smile instead of telling him to get a job. Or perhaps it’s just life.

The problem arises when I have ‘other’ weeks, ‘other months’, or even ‘years to remember’ in which everything seems to mount up with a vengeance.

The washing machine goes on strike, but you can’t see to that because first you need to deal with the tiles that fell off the bathroom wall. Theoretically you could fix the tiles, but you have traumatic memories of grouting yourself to the wall. You might call a handyman, but you are overdrawn and your mobile phone with the handyman’s number was stolen. That doesn’t matter though as he doesn’t bother to answer calls anyway. So because the tiles fell off the bathroom wall, you end up hoping that nobody will notice you are wearing yesterday’s socks. You get the picture…

I’m not a great fan of the idea of Prozac. I have heard enough stories about postal workers with grievances, guns and ill-advised prescriptions. When things keep going wrong I like to grumble and, on very rare occasions, blow my stack. It doesn’t change the facts but it relieves the pressure.

Knowing the therapeutic value of complaining, I believe that people who wander around telling everyone they ‘can’t complain’ are counterproductive to humanity’s mental health, if there is such a thing.

People who ‘can’t complain’ should be sent to the nearest totalitarian dictatorship; the kind where the complaints department is conveniently located just across the road from the pockmarked wall and the bloodstained posts. At least they would have a sound reason not to complain.

Imagine a world in which nobody complained! If not for Ralph Nader’s complaints about automotive safety in the Sixties we’d still be wrapping ourselves around tree trunks, not suffering a new set of injuries from airbags. If not for America’s complaints about the British in the 18th century, we would never have known Jerry Springer. And if not for some ancestor’s complaint about the draft through the leaves, we would still believe that trees are real-estate.

There is definitely something to be said for complaints, but all of a sudden I am not sure whether it is good or bad. At least I can say that we need to blow off steam from time to time.

When next you meet someone who ‘can’t complain’, tell them to try harder, perhaps beginning with something easy like the weather. If that doesn’t work, talk to them about their jobs or tell them that the number of the consumer lobby can be found in the directory. Perhaps you could even ask them for the numbers of their therapists.

They may eventually appreciate your efforts to relieve their bottled-up stress, and you will be doing the human race a favour.


About The Author

Pierre Maré

Pierre Maré is a multi-awarded Namibian advertising strategist and copy writer. From 2004 to 2016 he wrote a weekly tongue-in-cheek column for the Namibia Economist, eventually amassing an impressive 590 articles over the almost 12-year period. This series of Offbeat is a digital rerun of his pieces that received the highest reader acclaim. - 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.