A racist child doesn’t become racist at school, or at the playground while playing with other kids, but in the household that practices it, similarly, tribalism is learnt from home.
These were the sentiments of the deputy minister of information and communication technology, Emma Theophilus, during a regional engagement trip which was part of the Nationhood and National Pride Programme (NNP) at Opuuo last week.
The regional engagements kicked off last month to strengthen regional authorities’understandingof the NNP programme.
It also seeks to find ways on how regional leaders can contribute to a successful implementation of the programme within their regions.
The initiative was officially launched in 2011 by former President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, with the ministry of information and communication technology as custodian.
NNP’s purpose is to foster the spirit of kinship, nationhood, patriotism, and national pride in all Namibians.
At the Opuuo meeting Theophilus urged citizens to “find common grounds on national identity, something that identifies them as Namibian before their own cultures, tribes and languages”, noting that “there is something bigger than our villages, towns and regions”.
“If I identify as Namibian first, it doesn’t take away from the language I consider my mother tongue, it doesn’t take away from the culture I practice, the clothing I wear, and the rituals I do at family gatherings,” she noted.
The deputy minister further stated that the country still reels from divisions as citizens still focus on what divides them instead of what unites them, which is patriotism and solidarity.
For one to be an altruistic citizen, greed and selfishness must die, she pointed out.
“In order for us to be a nation that is united, that works together, let’s weld behind the nation. At some point the tribe must die in a sense that it can divide us,” she added.
The campaign to enhance a sense of nationhood and national pride in Namibian citizens was implemented through 12 strategic pillars and objectives which, among others, were to reinforce Namibia’s national identity, advance research and innovation efforts on nationhood and national pride as well as intensify the fight against all forms of social evils in the country.
In the meantime, Namibia continues to be best by gender-based violence (GBV),drug and alcohol abuse, vandalism of public property, and other social problems.