Namibia is becoming inundated with tribal slurs. It is either the taxi driver will call other people by their tribe’s name or the ordinary man in the street has a way of stereotyping someone according to their tribe of origin.
People name calling each other is one thing that Namibians have become accustomed to, but what does such behaviour serve in society. The country’s constitution is coined on the policy of One Namibia, One Nation. The mere mention of the phrase we are all Namibians first before we are anything should be ahead of everything. There is no dominant tribe, individual or clan but there is the dominance in nation hood.
Infact in the past few weeks it has become a popular statement for politicians from the high echelons of power and the lower end of the political game to raise some statements that can be disturbing.
The country is now 24 years into independence and we can stand firm and claim to be a mature democracy. We have done considerably well to put the bad past of colonialism behind us. But what have we as a people if today we still look at each other on tribal lines. Until when should we call each other names and pretend that we were set under such tones by e colonialist. Perhaps Government needs to take the bold decision of renaming all those suburbs in Katutura that are known by the tribe of people who are dominant in them.
Is it not a mockery to unity of purpose and progressive minds that in this day and age we have places called Damara Location, Owambo Location, and Herero Location among many where the majority of our people live? Such places and naming of such places where obviously coined during the pre independence era and meant to decide the broader spectrum of the Namibian audience. While the names are just names and have nothing to influence anything in a right thinking mind, Government and policy makers need to take a microscopic eye into such things. It is pretty simple that in the socialisation of a child they pick what is given to them.
How do we expect our own children to embrace unity and togetherness if they are born in areas where they are told this is Owambo Location, this is Damara location and etc. It is pretty obvious that such names of places in modern day Namibia have potential to coin a mindset that is negative towards others. It is much better if these places were to be given other names that have nothing to do with tribalistic connotations.
This is a year of elections, and nationhood should be emphasised more and let us in the long run avoid going down divisions that have been witnessed in various other African countries.