Shift in the Economic Power to Blacks


– (Part 1 continued from last week) IN addition to being successful commercial farmers and adding value to the Namibian economy, Hereros are highly educated, probably the most highly academically qualified tribal grouping in Namibia and through their educational superiority they dominate and make valuable contributions to the success and progress of the Namibian economy. Despite the widely held views that Hereros are a divided nation, my research shows that Hereros are very supportive of each other and strive to uplift one another to succeed, providing grazing to fellow farmers and for that reason you could find a Herero in a senior position ending up appointing more Hereros in his/her institution. I don’t see this as tribalism, but a reflection of their strong bond. On a scale of one (1) to ten (10), I rank Hereros at 4 out of 10, making them one of the most productive members of our society, only second to Ovambos. They are behind the Ovambos for being less entrepreneurial by venturing in other business areas, not willing to take risks beyond Omaheke and relatively lazy when compared to the Ovambos. They together with the Ovambos are much focused, are persistent and a valuable resource to the future of our country and are laying a strong foundation for the creation of wealth that will ensure a better future for the generations to come. My research shows that Ovambos and Hereros are the only two tribes in Namibia who are making significant contributions to the increase in the total GDP, adding value to the economy and creating wealth through their ownership of businesses and cattle farming. While other tribes are contributing to the economy as employees, the above two tribes are actively engaged in the production process, producing for Namibia and the rest of the world. Their continued economic dominance will ensure that they continue dominating the political landscape for a long time. Part 2 of this peace will look at other Namibian tribes whom my research shows to be economic passengers and consumers of wealth despite being endowed with natural resources. They will always point a finger at someone or another tribe for their failure to acquire wealth. They will hide their laziness behind the so-called Ovambo domination and government not helping them. – Part 2 – Kavangos: The Mystery of Sex Transmutation: The Rukavango tribe is the most fertile and sexually active tribe in Namibia with both the 1991 and 2001 population survey conducted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) showing that women in Kavango give birth to 6 children, compared to a national average of 4 children and an average of 3 children for Ovambos. The Kavango region has the highest population growth rate of close to 4%, compared to the national population growth rate of 2.6% and 1.6% for Ovambos. They seem to have an inborn sex drive, an ability not possessed by any other tribes in Namibia, so strong that if it is redirected to economic production the Kavango Region could become the bread and butter of Namibia. According to Napoleon Hill, the desire for sexual expression is inborn and natural. The desire cannot and should not be submerged or eliminated. But it should be given an outlet through forms of expressions, which enrich the body, mind, and spirit of man. If not given this form of outlet, through transmutation, it will seek outlets through purely physical channels and translate into many children being produced without the means to feed and support them. .Scientific research has disclosed that men with greatest achievements in politics, business, and other professions are men with highly developed sex natures, men who learned the art of sex transmutation (changing or transferring one form of energy into another). When harnessed, and redirected along business lines, sex energy can create courage and creativity to create wealth and produce more entrepreneurs who will generate wealth for the nation. Although Kavangos seem to have the high sex energy, this energy has not been redirected to business and economic production and as a result Kavango remains one of the poorest regions with an average household income of N$23 820 and per capita income of N$3 697 placing Kavango at number twelve (12) just slightly above Ohangwena, the last poorest region in Namibia. Their main sources of income are subsistence income from crop sales, income from animal sales, income from cuca shops, remittance income and income from formal employment. Income from employment is by far the most important source of household income, constituting more than 70% of total income in the area. Agricultural production is almost exclusively for subsistence purposes. It is estimated that only 10% of all fertile and productive land in Kavango is productively utilized, while 90% of fertile land is underutilized. The Kavango tribe has a great potential to contribute to Namibia’s economic success story, by becoming entrepreneurs in crop farming, producing a surplus for the whole of Namibia and the world. Their education continues to improve, with Kavango now one of the top performing regions on the education ranking table. Unlike other tribes, they have an inborn, natural energy that is currently being wasted. Their sexual drive should be redirected away from physical channels of producing human beings, and channeled towards the production of goods and services and make a meaningful contribution to the country’s economy. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank Kavango at 6 out of 10, but this score can improve immediately they redirect their sexual energy and unleash their true potential. Caprivians – Limiting Beliefs: Most Caprivians have failed to take control of their limiting beliefs to the extent that this has affected the innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives in the region. These limiting beliefs come in different forms, for example, don’t start a business, they will bewitch you, God does not accept rich people in heaven, my church does not allow this and that, etc. It is very rare that people from the Caprivi take responsibility for their own actions and failures. Everything that goes wrong in Caprivi, be it laziness, dirty town, pot holes, poverty, unemployment, poor roads and their own failure is blamed on either Satan, witchcraft, government, Ovambos, God and anyone else. The challenge with all these beliefs is that they become limitations for future decisions about who Caprivians are and what they are capable of. Changing their belief systems is central to making any real and lasting change in their lives and the progress of the region. Our words become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you allow your thoughts to defeat you and then give birth to negative ideas through your words, your actions will follow and you reap the consequences of your actions. The state of underdevelopment and poverty in which the Caprivi finds itself is to a large extent a result of their own limiting beliefs. With an average income per household of N$25 347 and per capita income of N$5 456, Caprivi is placed at number nine, declining from the top five in the early 1990s. Despite being surrounded by rivers and endowed with fertile soil and also receiving the highest rainfall, commercial farming is nonexistent at 0.1%. The region at the moment is a consumer of wealth; and is not adding value to the national economy. It is hard to pinpoint successful entrepreneurs in the Caprivi, who one can say run sustainable business models that will create business linkages in the area. Entrepreneurial spirit is almost non-existent. Even in the area of education, Caprivi continues to lag behind other regions, falling to number twelve in last year’s rankings. In addition to limiting beliefs and poor entrepreneurial spirit, Caprivians are divided along tribal lines and this affects teamwork and denies people with leadership skills to play an active role in the affairs of the region. The future of the Caprivi region and its economic success depends on how fast Caprivians liberate themselves from their limiting beliefs, and start embracing empowering beliefs that will unleash their true potential and create a culture of entrepreneurship. On a scale 1 to 10, I put Caprivians at 7 out of 10, with great potential to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s economy. Damara/Nama – The Habit of Eating Seeds: The art of growing rich and creating sustainable wealth for a region, tribe or individual lies in the ability to transform the seeds (money) into large harvests, and the size of one’s harvest will depend on whether one has planted the seeds in fertile soil or whether one has eaten the seeds. A tribe or country that continuously consumes more and invests less will remain trapped in poverty and will become dependent on other tribes or government. The following story will help summarize the Damara/Nama’s contribution to the economy. Three Namibians – a Herero, a Damara and an Ovambo – discovered gold valued at N$3 million, which they divided equally among themselves. The Ovambo returned to his hometown in the North, and no one noticed that he had money but after ten years the Ovambo owned businesses worth more than N$10 million. The Ovambo invested and multiplied the N$1 million into millions and in the process managed to create jobs and paid taxes to government. The Herero used his N$1 million to buy cattle and a farm, now worth more than N$5 million and also created a few jobs. The Damara went back home with a car full of gifts and entertained every one almost every weekend. After a few months the Damara reduced the N$1 million to zero and now works for a government department. From observation and talking to Damaras themselves, there are some truths in this story; Damaras tend to have a habit of spending on consumption than investing to multiply the initial investment. While there are outstanding Damara/Namas who have made enormous contributions to the founding and building of the Namibian nation and economy, my analysis does not focus much on individual contributions, but more on the contribution of the tribe as a whole and the economic sector that they dominate. As a tribe Damara/Namas do not dominate any segment of the Namibian economy, and are therefore not a very productive tribe. It is very difficult to identify successful businesses established and owned by Damara/Nama people. Despite being one of the first tribes to modernize/civilize through their contacts with the white settlers, they have not taken opportunities to dominate economic spheres. They are a consumer tribe, whose survival depends on employment, than business ownership. Since independence Damara/Namas have been sliding behind other regions in terms in educational rankings if one uses Kunene and Karas as representative regions. On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank Damara/Namas at 8 out of 10, with very little chances of Damaras stopping their habits of eating seeds. Coloureds/Basters: This group of Namibians dominated the building and construction industry prior to and after independence. Construction is a billion dollar industry in Namibia contributing more than 5% to GDP. Coloureds/Basters seem to have an in-born skill and passion in fields of building and construction and as a result they dominated this segment of the economy and made valuable contributions to the country’s economy. Although there are no official statistics to confirm the share of Coloureds/Basters in the construction industry, it is safe to say that they had a significant share and control of the building/construction industry up until recently. However, they seem to have lost and continue to lose their market share in this industry, with Chinese, Ovambos and Whites capturing their business and market share. What happened? Coloureds/Basters have themselves to blame for losing the market share in the industry. By operating as individual constructors with no strategic plans to guide them as to the future dynamics of the industry, they failed to identify threats and opportunities. Their business model was focused too much in Windhoek and by operating as families and individual business they lacked the economies of scale to withstand any pressure and competition. Despite dominating the industry for years, there are very few structured construction companies owned by Coloureds and Basters. The failure to operate under organized company structures meant that they could not enter into strategic partnerships to win government tenders and forge partnerships with well-established foreign companies that were entering the market. Coloureds/Baster missed out on the construction boom that stated after independence and missed an opportunity to produce many millionaires in their community. They have lost control of the industry and it does not look like they will regain the market share they have lost. As things stand now, Coloureds/Basters’ contribution to the economy in terms of value addition has been declining and minimal, they are slowly moving away from being a generator of wealth to a consumer of wealth. – Martin Mwinga works for RMB Asset Management Namibia but writes in his personal capacity.