Do free Namibia, colonialism have anything in common?

Yours Truly Ideologically in the last instalment, was still ever seized with the vexed question of education, prompted by the dismal examination results of last year and which since have seen various stakeholders scurrying around, passing the buck from one to the other.

Continuing to muse as to what could be the cause of the extremely disappointing results, postulating that the problem is not so much the content of the education system. Because what is has been delivering is exactly what it has been designed to deliver. Thus this system cannot be seen in isolation from the productive system in which it is located, and which it must supplement and serve, buttress and consolidate. If not shielding it by mis-educating. This productive system being the capitalist system.

If the education system has been designed to serve the capitalist system that it has since independence, been serving and delivering for that matter, it cannot be any wonder that thousands of youths have been dump onto the streets, just like this year. When once again thousands of school leavers shall be finding themselves in the streets, for which by the design of the capitalist education system, they have been destined. Thus, it is not so much the education system that needs to be blamed. Because this is what it has been designed and geared for, serving the capitalist system. Equally, it does not help much to change the education system without changing the capitalist system itself. But the problem of the capitalist education system, is and has been not only the thousands of youths condemned to the streets of our urban centres. But also to the hinterland of our communal areas where development has been no more than just a pipedream.

“It must be noted that every mode of production gives rise to a specific educational philosophy, which in turn is expected to perform the vital role of legitimising, reinforcing and preserving it as the acceptable and correct mode of production,” postulates late Zimbabwean first president Reverend Canaan Banana. Coming to Namibia, it is anyone’s guess what mode of production, and thus educational philosophy, has been obtaining. But this is not to mistake indeed that the capitalist system, despite the constitutional pretense of Namibia’s mode of production being a mixed economy, whatever that means and may mean, the capitalist system has been very much in vogue. Not as a matter of a conscious decision but following and flowing from the constitutional dispensation that the country has adopted, and which integrally and intrinsically and intentionally has never been the intent of the constitution, it seems, to ever question and interrogate the capitalist productive system that the independent country was to inher
it and inherited.

The bona fides delivery of the constitution, socio-economically, is and has never been, never ever at any point been questioned and interrogated. Its empty aesthetics so much glorified by all and sundry, except of course by the workers. Meaning, thus there is in Namibia no clear and thorough understanding of the relationships between economic, political, social and cultural systems, and the inherited educational system.

Until there’s a clear understanding of this, any talks of egalitarianism, let alone of socialism, granted socialism is the solution, shall remain empty, purposeless and at best opportunistic dogma of the comprador bourgeoisie. Yours Truly Ideologically shall never ever and cannot compare an independent Namibia with the colonial period dispensation. Be it during the early stages of German Imperialism to the latter epoch of Apartheid South African occupation and colonialism. Except only in one sense.

Those who suffered exploitation were predominantly the African indigenes. A white worker was and is still unheard of. It does not mean that white workers did not exist in colonial Namibia but due to the structuralisation of colonial capitalism, their exploitation was more bearable to make them believe that they were much a part of the ruling elite. But fundamentally class exploitation existed, perpetuated predominantly by whites (Afrikaners, English and Germans). Fast forward to 2023, the comprador bourgeoisie has since been born with a stake in the continued exploitation, as usual of the Namibian African masses (including the working class). Just like in colonial times, white workers bearing the brunt of the capitalist exploitative system in modern day Namibia hardly exist. Not to mention poor white people. One needs look no further than the former white schools. Today one can hardly find any white learners in these schools. Where these learners are schooling today and why, does not need any rocket scien
tist to know. Because simply the system has not uplifted the majority of the Africans to economically and socially bring them on par with their fellow white citizens, who have had a head start from the days of capiltalist colonial exploitation, which to this day remains intact.

Yours Truly Ideologically cannot but recall the wise prophesy of an old wise man in Namibia’s rural impoverished hinterland of Epukiro. Who could not understand the quest of and by the so-called learned and politically aware Africans. Especially their strive towards equality and parity with white people, politically, economically and socially. His prophesy and/or prediction, call it what you may, was that Africans in Namibian shall never be equal on par with fellow white citizens, if white and Africans in Namibia ever can be seen as fellow citizens. Because according to him the moment Africans move an inch to whites, they would be sitting on the lap of God, protecting them.

Thirty two years after, if one looks at the exodus of white Africans from the public schools which in the Apartheid era their exclusive domain and better equipped, and which are today now are the exclusive domain of Africans, and which the country seems to hardly noticed and sees as a sign of progress, the old wise man’s prophesy rings very much true.

So much true with thousands and thousands of African youths condemned to the country’s economic doldrums, urban and rural. With white youths conspicuously missing.

“The evolution of education in any society is closely connected with the ownership relations, class composition and structure in that society,” Yours Truly Ideologically pens off. With hindsight is this not what the rural old wise man was referring to that as long at such relationships are not interrogated and overhauled, inequality shall persists, so much between citizens who are supposed to be equal and who are 32 years after are worlds unequal and ala the wise old rural man shall never. Probably Apartheid Namibia and independent Namibia may be comparable and may have something in common. Which is continued exploitation and capitalism.

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