Nation eating its own children

16 January 2020 | Opinion

“When a hyena wants to eat its own children, it first accuses them of smelling like goats.” This African proverb thunderously resonates with regular occurrences of violence against children in Namibia, especially the girl child.

Such violence is, more often than not, perpetrated by the victims' own family members. Already defenceless because of their age, these children often suffer in silence out of fear, ignorance or not knowing who to turn to.

Yesterday, a Rehoboth father was in the local magistrate's court to apply for bail after he was arrested for allegedly raping his own daughter, aged eight.

The 68-year-old accused, perceived as a father figure in his community – partially due to having been a teacher at the town for decades, is said to have been sexually abusing his biological minor for a stretched period of time.

Namibian children are in real trouble. Throughout the history of humankind, fathers were always their daughters' first port of call whenever they felt threatened in any way. Now it is their fathers pursuing them to quench their shameful insatiable lust.

Children are so much in trouble that many of them cannot even confide their horrors in their own mothers, who often spring to the defence of their husbands.

Even schools are littered with sexual predators in whom children cannot confide their suffering at home.

In church, on paper the holiest place on earth, children have become fodder for the preachers' gratification.

Just last September, a married Lutheran church pastor was arrested for allegedly raping a local learner at Ongha, over a sustained period.

It is even suggested that one Sunday he left the girl in his house and went to preach God's gospel in church, returning later to continue his satanic deeds.

Simply put, the girl child is a troubled species. She has absolutely nowhere to turn to in search for refuge and protection from the claws of the sexual predators.