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Cogito ergo sum

Dear Editor and Readers
Allow me to borrow the theme for this paragraph from the Former President of South Africa, that intellectual giant, Thabo Mbeki.

“I am an African”. I am a Namibian and by definition of history, tragically so, I am referred to as a coloured. However, I am. I love this country dearly. From the rocky terrains of Kunene to the rolling hills of the Khomas Hochland.
From the sandy dunes of the Namib Desert to the Cattle Region called Omaheke. From the Mighty crocodile infested Kavango River to the challenging Orange River.
 I am a Namibian and proudly so. Furthermore, I am an alumnus of the cradle of education in the Rehoboth Gebiet, Dr. Lemmer High School and Mr Theo Sawyers.
May I use this platform to address three issues.
Firstly, SOME white compatriots should stop being so apologetic about the past that it has actually become pathetic.
You are not here by mere accident; you are here because you, in fact all of us, have the right to be here. Let us make our contribution as we are doing now, because our country desperately needs it.
Secondly, there is the issue of corruption. We have become a nation of corporate thieves. What we call the African dream (Renaissance) will remain a dream if we cannot conquer corruption.
What our leaders should realize is that you can delegate responsibility, but you cannot delegate accountability. This problem is actually challenging our leadership. To paraphrase Holland’s words:

God give us leaders!
A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts,
True faith and ready hands,
Leaders whom the lust of office does not kill
Leaders whom the spoils of life cannot buy;
Leaders who have honour;
Leaders who will not lie;
Tall leaders, sun crowned,
Who live above the fog
of public duty and private thinking.

Finally, I wish to address our youth out there.
One of the signs of hope is the youthfulness of our continent. Over half of the population in almost all African Countries is composed of young people.
This in itself is a sign of continued life and indeed hope for positive change.
These young minds and energies can be harnessed and properly developed to be leaders who would make a difference.
But if this has to be realized, our youth must realize this and start to act now.
I wish to call on those young indulging in destructive activities such as substance abuse, vileness, greed, slander, back-biting, deceit, pride and every form of wickedness, to rethink their position honestly and seriously.
Those are the things that pollute you.
Rather I call on you to exchange your knives and guns for calculators and computers;  your energy to build instead of to destroy; your very expensive American branded clothes and shoes for school uniforms and exchange your hate for love.
If you want to be successful in doing this, you need a change in attitude that would bring a change in altitude.
My message to our young out there is that everything is not dark. We must retain hope.
We must not dissipate our energies by cursing the darkness, but give our time by lighting candles.
We must retain our faith in humanity. We must not allow the storms, rocks and high winds to deter us – they must inspire us.
Let us young remind ourselves about the fact that there is no escalator to success.
Each and every demanding step must be climbed patiently, but also with enthusiasm.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
”With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable,” wrote the 18th century British philanthropist Thomas Foxwell Buxton.
 It must have been through perseverance that the snail in the Bible reached Noah’s ark.
You, the Young, are challenged. You, the power of Africa, ferments change.
May God bless Africa
Guide her leaders
Bless all her children
And give her peace
Reggie Diergaardt
Former MP

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