Namibia has made a lot of historic and remarkable progress in both the political and religious arenas.
On the 21st she rightly rejoiced her continuous flourishing successes [a verifiable fact beyond all doubt] and simultaneously reminding of herself about her shortcomings.
As a nation she celebrated her historic and remarkable day worthy of celebration. I, herewith, joyfully congratulate the land of our ancestors.
Equally so, my congratulatory words of thankfulness go to the entire Catholic Church in Namibia.
Your existence and contributions within Namibia has played a major and significant role that should not go unnoticed.
At the time of independence, everyone born in the pre-independence era can acknowledge the very fact that the country was poorly electrified and poorly connected to both its neighbours and world at large in terms of road infrastructures and telecommunications.
Today we can affectionately assert that Namibia has an easy access to the SADC region through the Trans Kalahari and Trans Caprivi Highways, and through the international and regional air links.
For these and other great achievements we have to give due praise to the government, especially to our Founding President, H.E. Dr. Sam Nujoma, our former President, H.E. Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba and our current President, H. E. Dr. Hage Geingob.
Conversely, an undeniable fact is also that progress has been made in the field of education.
About that, the Tanzanian president Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922-1999), would affectionately assert that “those who receive this privilege of education have a duty to return the sacrifice which others have made.”
This sacrifice can be returned in and through education.
Precisely more than 85% of Namibian children have access to formal education. The same can be affirmed and echoed in the areas of health and social welfare. These are but some of the success stories about which the country has enough reasons to justify a blissfully enjoyable celebration of political independence.
The Catholic Church has also made a lot of chief advancements in the last previous years. To start with; first, it has changed from a Mission to a Local Church. Second, Catholic bishops and a number of local Catholic priests were ordained so that our local people can better understand the divine mission of God and “their unsolved riddles of human existence” [Vatican Council II, Nostra aetate, paragraph 1, page 652].
Besides, as far as education is concerned, the Catholic schools, in particular St Boniface, St Paul’s College and Canisianum [just to mention but a few] have taken the lead in producing the best academic results countrywide.
Furthermore, in the field of health care, the Catholic health services have done exceptionally well as well. Equally so, the Catholic AIDS ACTION project took an early lead in the country in the caring of those who were severely afflicted by dreaded and incurable diseases.
For, Sr. Gervasius Adelheid OSB [2009, March 21, St. Charles Lwanga], asserted that: “The Church has also taken the lead in looking after the most despised members of our Namibian society; the “sex workers”. Our district Hospitals have been upgraded to a level where they can accommodate more patients and deliver better service. And to crown it all, the Catholic Hospital in Windhoek has stolen the limelight once again by becoming the first-ever private health institution in the country to be equipped with a latest state of the art cardiac division”.
For the reasons of having reliability and credibility, we enthusiastically celebrate this historic day of national independence.
The Catholic Church, therefore, has good reason to hold her head high as she joins the rest of the nation celebrating the milestones reached in all fields, particularly in Education, Health and the general welfare of all the people of this country.
ON THEIR WAY FORWARD (Government & Church):
Our nation is not only celebrating the great successes. She is also reminding herself of the daunting tasks, trials and tribulations facing her on a daily basis. The country has not yet found lasting solutions on some issues such as abject poverty, HIV&AIDS elimination, eradication of corruption, the scourge of gender based violence [passion killing], of drug abuse, suicide, the land issue, etc.
Nevertheless, it is with confident hope and determined will that we – the nation and the Church – will march into the future and positively do all we can to solidify the gains and fruits of our independence and we affirm anew to make our contribution to a peaceful and just world as a committed member of the worldwide community of nations.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer and in no way do they represent the views of The Villager.
Jeronimo Nghilunanye Kateya studied philosophy and theology. The views are entirely his. He loves enlightenment. currently at UNAM