The Nationhood National Pride campaign in full swing
The Ministry of Information and Communication has recently responded to criticism in the media regarding the National Prayer Day held last month, stating that the government initiated and implemented programmes countrywide, such as the Nationhood National Pride (NNP) campaign through which citizens are urged, motivated, encouraged and mobilised to fight the socio-economic and cultural evils such as gender violence. The NNP campaign for the enhancement of a sense of nationhood and national pride in Namibian citizens launched its five-year strategic plan in 2012 and is to run until 2017. It entails a work plan, themes and strategic objectives, implementation logistics and much more. The NNP campaign programme was deliberated on and subsequently created during a cabinet retreat in 2005/6 as a means of supporting and sustaining Namibian nationhood and to motivate individuals to promote consciousness of duty, commitment, obligations and responsibility to the nation and to each other as fellow citizens.
The campaign aims at reducing incidences of vandalism of public property, violence against women and children, drug and alcohol abuse, degradation of the environment and other social evils. The question was raised whether perhaps citizens lacked a sense of belonging; hence the proposal for a study, which was then tasked to the Ministry of information and Communication Technology. One of the recommendations resulting from the study was the need of government to come up with a sustainable campaign encouraging a sense of belonging and oneness amongst citizens. Citizens were involved in the naming process for the campaign, designing a logo and coming up with the slogan, “My Namibia. My Country. My Pride.” At the event, Minister of MICT, Hon. Joel Kaapanda, said that this was the culmination of three year’s of preparation in response to the presidential directives on dealing with issues of national concern. The campaign has been active through visiting schools, traditional communities, and even in parliament the minister called upon fellow MPs to dedicate parts of their speeches to issues related to the NNP campaign. In addition, he visited various constituencies, calling all Namibians to rally behind this campaign which also hosts workshops aimed at educating and informing the public, thus instilling a sense of nationhood and national pride. Other achievements of the campaign so far are awareness creation in different regions, radio talks on the campaign, the distribution of posters, t-shirts, pens and leaflets, competitions at various trade fairs, and the formation of regional NNP forums. Currently they are working on radio and TV adverts. The strategic plan of the campaign is to help the nation focus on the bigger picture – Namibia, our nation and our pride. Besides giving direction to our collective actions, it provides a behavioural map to consolidate our national identity, to support Vision 2030 and to continuously cultivate national pride. The MICT also has an ongoing campaign following the incidences of “passion killings” the nation is suffering from.