Thank you, Mr President

29 May 2020 | Opinion

Jejamaije Kaeno uaMujoro


Fridays are my favourite days; I enjoy the feeling of being in control of weekend activities, especially during the current time of my life I will define as the 'Economic Unpegged Namibian Citizen's Status'.

Walking along the main road in the old Okahandja section of town, passing by Golz Machinenbau, an iron-making place, Andreas Kukuri Centre on my righthand side.

The taxi drivers, 'Ousaru' as we call them, the ones driving between Windhoek and Okahandja, are going by. “Business unusual but it's zula to survive.”

EIG bucks

I pass Total service station to the right with the police station on my far left and Spar supermarket across the intersection of Martin !Neib and Bruno Templin streets.

My mind is running in circles. How did the government change for the pension bucks to be received through FNB?

Coming closer, I realise these are young people. I am kicking minute stones on the road keeping to my journey. Ahaa! These ones are collecting the emergency income grant (EIG) bucks. I stand there out of curiosity as we chat and I can hear laughter, people making jokes about what to buy and how long the lockdown could last - EIG community members teasing each other about the distancing in the line.

One guy makes a joke that it's no longer fun to propose to ladies… Imagine if I had a teeth-counting machine.

Painting hope

The essence of the matter is that for this particular period, not looking at sustainability or adequacy, on behalf of those who are grateful, I thank you Mr President - for painting hope on Namibian faces using crayons of different colours through the minister of finance and all the participating stakeholders. I felt the joy and Namibian-ness amidst the crowds on 17 April and continue seeing the appreciation on different social media platforms.

Lockdown impact

I am a Namibian woman who holds post-master's qualifications but I'm not in mainstream employment because I launched two business ventures: An agricultural college at Nkurenkuru (thank you Hompa Siwombe Eugen Kudumo for allowing me to become the first Otjiherero speaking-Kwangali) and a bed and breakfast at Okahandja. Both of my ventures are affected by the lockdown, but the requirements for me to get support before, during and after requires 'good standing' first.

Being a first generation passionate businesswoman with no backing, I am experiencing worse than you, Mr President, experienced during the liberation struggle in the bushes of Angola, Zambia or wherever you found your good soul during that time. As for the Economic Unpegged Namibian Citizen's Status: Not falling in the category of the employed; in business but not yet at a level of generating income for survival and falling short of good standing, not because of malpractice, but because of the stages of business development, that's where I find myself during this Covid-19 world crisis.

Long live my president, kurupa nomeho.

*Jejamaije Kaeno uaMujoro is the founding rector of UBH Training Institute, a vocational and technical training centre at Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West Region. This article is written in her own capacity