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Offbeat 13 June 2014

The concept of destruction in the new songs is different now: heavy bass to fuel anger, and the knowledge that the heritage of the songs comes with handguns via the distorted pedigrees of West Coast Rap and Gangsta Rap.

I have a hole in the lapel of my jacket. It’s too big to stitch up and I’m not skilled enough to patch it up without the help of an adult. My simple solution is to go with a button badge bought at the local music store. The one that I wear has a bright Union Jack motif and the word ‘Destroy’, printed on its center. I’m Namibian by birth and by choice, and fairly staid by virtue of of personal values and habituation, but the button is ‘kind of me’, actually ‘very me’.
I started wearing that particular button about two weeks ago, mainly as an emotional connection to my teens and twenties. However the death of comedian Rik Mayall this week made me think of it in a reasoned way, its connection to me decades down the road.
Rik Mayall was wildly funny. Some of you may remember him as Alan B’Stard in ‘The New Statesman’, or as the confused anarchist in ‘The Young Ones’. ‘The Young Ones’ fits perfectly with the ‘Destroy’ badge. It takes anger and fear to make laughter. That was one of the undertones of the show.
There were others with whom the motif fitted. Unfortunately many of them have gone the way of Mayall. Ian Dury died in 2000. Joe Strummer of the Clash went in 2002. Malcolm McLaren, the ringmaster and impresario, passed in 2010. Those are the three I particularly remember. Who does that leave? Vivien Westwood, the fashionista, but I don’t wear women’s clothing. Richard Branson, the entrepreneur, the spirit of adventure and business fun, is still around, but I don’t share his ambition or his entrepreneurial success.

As far as the musicians go, John Lydon, then known as Johnny Rotten, is still alive. He tours with the Pistols, even though they now come across like aging corporate rockers.  I hope he looks after his health. After he goes, the major representatives of those times are gone, leaving the ‘Destroy’ motif on the lapels of young mummers with colourful Mohican haircuts, who probably don’t have a clue what that type of destruction was all about.
I associate the word ‘Destroy’, in the context of those times, with something other than violence. Perhaps some of you remember a laconic line ‘Rip it all up and start all over again’ from the Clash song ‘Wrong ‘em Boyo’. ‘Destroy’ was a spark. Sometimes things need to be removed to make way for other things.
The thing that had to be removed, was the callous approach that limited social justice. The anger brought about change particularly in the UK. It also reached into the hearts of some of us in Namibia. Listening to the Pistols and The Clash was one of the few rebellious acts open to some of us.
Greil Marcus’ book ‘Lipstick Traces’ correlates the political events to the empowerment of the music in laborious detail. For me, it leads back to emotional empowerment for the anti-Apartheid movement as well as the UK protests against Poll Tax, a sickeningly cynical tax on human existence.
Fortunately those times and events are no longer with us. Unfortunately the spirit of those times is no longer with us. Social justice now equates to wealth and bling. Musicians pose with shows of wealth. Their anger expresses arrogant, malevolent challenge. “Look what I have seized. Look how I raise myself above you.”
The concept of destruction in the new songs is different now: heavy bass to fuel anger, and the knowledge that the heritage of the songs comes with handguns via the distorted pedigrees of West Coast Rap and Gangsta Rap. It lacks any concept of social justice or social equity. It brings across a sense of undeserved entitlement.
I need new idols and role models, not the kind who exist in a testosterone haze, but I can’t think who they might be.
The sense of nostalgia is troubling. It makes me feel older than I am, and invalidated in many ways. Perhaps I should just settle back into ennui and disinterest, but I don’t particularly want to put away this badge yet. There is still callousness out there, more corporate than anything now, and things that need to change.

About The Author

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

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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.