Localizing native languages …the key to economic upliftment

Festus Commodore Tshirumbu

“Some of our policies are great, but when it comes to translating them to the people who must interact with them, they must make sense.” – Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia. She explained that when she speaks of an afrocentric approach, it means policies must be able to accommodate those who utilize them without them having difficulties.

Madam Geingos could have not said it any better.

This remark triggered a spark of thought within me that our government spends millions of dollars printing and publishing tender documents and not one is printed in our local languages even though our government has a vision of being inclusive.

It also triggered series of thoughts as to what may actually be the driving problem as to why our people at times fail to exploit and get adequate information regarding certain opportunities that may exist and benefit them and most importantly their communities they reside from.

We have experienced in the past and of lately how tribal frictions have almost erupted due to a lack of information and inadequate understanding of a subject matter in the land of the republic, I would like to state that one of the problems that we are facing as a nation is that of unity and we need to search for a nationalistic symbol of pride for all, that is well crafted to unite and shift the mindset of tribalism, greed and race grounds, etc… to be a story of the past and shift the focus on genuine economic upliftment of our people and not forgetting creation of wealth for the Namibian house locally, regionally and Internationally that will last for generations.

We need to foster the tool of dismantling information to our people, in order to safeguard the Namibian interest and layering a foundation for our generation and that to come after us, we need to start with LOCALIZING OUR VERY OWN LANGUAGES in the country, it is sad that the western imperialistic forces have brain washed us badly to a point that we believe that English is the key to success or a sign of high intelligence which is not the case at all.

There is a local bank in Windhoek when you enter you will notice that there is a board that gives direction/instructions which is translated in three languages which are English, Afrikaans and Chinese. This is a very clear indication as to how communication transmission can play a vital role in translating an understanding to the targeted audience and our government/leaders need to strongly advocate for this transformation in our Namibian House in fact us the youth must be the transmitting belt in pushing this agenda, that will be beneficial for our own nationalistic boost and will most definitely fight the social evils in our communities especially that of tribalism.

Our government has been and still invest in our local languages at school level so it is about time we spread the wings and nationalize our languages so to say and should be implemented in all government ministries/agencies and all other stated owned enterprises, If a person goes to Home affairs to fill in their particulars for example they must have the option of filling it in their language of preference, a person buying a tender document must have the option of filling it in their language of preference.

Well informed people will be capable of making well informed decisions that will allow a better and competitive economical upliftment of our people.

This will be a key growing our economy as more people will be able to express their thoughts/Ideas and will boost innovation in our people, simply because they will be able to express them self-better.

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