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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Beyond the smokescreen - Namibia Part2

Namibia’s relationship with China is another bone of contention as most large construction tenders are awarded to Chinese nationals who are allowed to fly in Chinese prisoners for cheap labor instead of employing locals – despite the high unemployment rate. Most Namibians feel that China has been given free rein to plunder Namibia and this has resulted in a few cases of violence against Chinese nationals – who now occupy and own businesses in every town in Namibia.

According to statistics, Namibia has an over 90% Christian population. Namibia also has a proud choral culture with most – if not all Namibians having sung in a choir at some point in their lives. This tradition has finally culminated to the first ever Gospel Choirs Competition that ended on 21 November 2014 in Namibia’s capital city. 
This is the first of its kind and although participating choirs had been given less than a week to enter the contest, some of the nations’ oldest and best choirs competed. It was aired live on national television and has created much expectation for next year’s contest when other famous choirs will be prepared and ready to enter and compete.

Because of the Divide – and – Rule policy which was implemented by the Germans in the colonial era, the indigenous groups in Namibia each have a Homeland so to speak. Although most Namibians have now moved to towns in search of employment, most of them return to their homelands in December to celebrate Christmas at the villages and communal land where their ancestors were placed by the Germans. 
This is why most towns in Namibia are empty in December each year. The Coloreds usually travel to the coast or to South Africa during December as there was not a Coloreds group during German colonial rule and thus no homeland for them.

Being a scarcely populated nation has its down side as powerful nations such as the United States of America have tried to force our leaders to let them use our desert as a dumping site for American waste. 
Namibia has also become a refuge to foreign fugitives as immigration control is not very strict (much to the dismay of those who fear that Ebola will reach Namibia for this very reason). Another threat is the so-called agreement to allow Wallmart to open shop in Namibia. Many fear that such a large monopolistic organization will take over the retail market and result in money leaving Namibia instead of growing local businesses.

Namibians love their meat! One of the favorite pass times of Namibians is going to an open market to eat Kapana (barbequed strips of beef or other red meat – usually beef). It’s cheap and absolutely delicious. This is why Namibians who go abroad often complain about the poor quality or high cost of meat. Kapana strips cost between N$1.00 and N$2.00 each (about 10 to 20 US cents). Kapana is for the rich and the poor alike, Namibians flock to Kapana stands every day – especially on weekends.

by Ujandja Veii

Ujandja Veii

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