In Search of New Namibian Heroes [opinion]

ON Tuesday next week, 26 August, the country will once again spend time celebrating its heroes and heroines.

It is a historic day, which is also recognised by the United Nations (UN) as Namibia Day and as such is a public day.

Ironically, today marks the 90th birthday of one of the country’s living heroes – Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba, Prime Minister Hage Geingob and other veterans of our liberation struggle also celebrated their birthdays this month.

But our concern is not birthdays. Our curiosity lies in whether contemporary Namibia has continued to produce heroes and where exactly those heroes are.

We have seen society recognising mostly its sporting heroes, such as Paralympian Johanna Benson whose 2012 London exploits got her massive recognition.

But there’s need for diversification insofar as producing heroes is concerned.

How are the country’s business heroes? Who are our heroes in the academic fields, civil society and the church?

Most of the current heroes, most of whom are from the political spheres of our country, are in the autumn of their lives.

They succeeded the likes of Chief Hendrik Witbooi, Chief Nehale lya Mpingana of the Ondonga, Chief Samuel Maharero and Chief Hosea Kutako, amongst others.

The eventual passing away of the aforementioned heroes did not leave Namibia in a vacuum. The Sam Nujomas, Ya Toivos and Moses Garoebs were ready to step into the shoes of their fallen fathers.

However, naturally, the Ya Toivos are not here to live eternally. This means therefore that a new generation of heroes needs to come to the fore.

Finding new heroes will perhaps be the hardest homework of our time because selfishness and individualism have become the norm.

Only a handful work in the best interests of society these days – the rest only care about their own purses.

It seems it will be difficult to replace our current heroes.

True, we recognise that heroes should not only be a status reserved for political figureheads.

But Namibians are implored to excel in their respective fields and must do so with a sense of nationalism and patriotism.

Only then would we start building a pool of future heroes, therefore making sure that our hero-producing machinery does not come to a standstill.

As Namibians we must look ourselves in the mirror and challenge ourselves to be the next Frank Fredericks, David Meroro, Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda, Greenwell Matongo, or Dimo Hamaambo.

Of course as a generation, we wouldn’t want to live in their shadows. We shouldn’t because they created their own history. So we too must create our own.

Namibia is not only free but is one of the most peaceful countries on the continent with a freedom of media that is unrivalled in Africa.

These noble sons of the soil all had one superhuman characteristic – that of courage and rare perseverance. They are all admired by both their contemporaries and by current generations.

Our youth should also emulate these brave sons and daughters of the soil by engaging in heroics that will propel our country to another level.

Source : New Era