Stop Being Xenophobic


Dear Editor

I am reacting to a comment by one of our Japanese friends on the negative attitude of some of our people towards our Far East Asian guests as it appeared in one of the daily papers of Friday, 16 March, 2007.

His concern was mainly on how Namibians, especially the people of the North, treat the Japanese and the Chinese people. The author according to his letter is in Namibia having been seconded by his government to our Ministry of Education.

This letter moved me and I regard this kind of negative attitude as unacceptable, destructive and sabotaging the efforts of the Government to develop our human resources and economy as well as to improve our standard of living. Traditionally, the Northerners are hospitable people, but what is happening to our traditions? This is worrying.

Namibians should learn to look at things and open their eyes before reacting and acting on disguised venomous provocative statements and talks that are wildly thrown in the air. They should also question the origins of these statements as well as their aims.

Ask yourself for example the rationale behind the questioning of the so-called 44 000 Chinese nationals residing in Namibia. Is somebody not up to a mischief here? Why only targeting the Chinese nationals?

These are some of the talks that are fomenting hostilities against our guests. And this should not be allowed. The culprits, of course, feel economically threatened by our Far Eastern friends and or are driven by pure xenophobia.

These are the same people who are xenophobic even against their own countrymen and women as long as you belong to a different complexion.

These are the people who will never board your taxi, refuel at your filling station or buy in your shop, no matter how they may need that service. They never appreciate even if you enter their shop to support them as long as you belong to a wrong complexion.

I, for one, do not buy the national anthem of “The Chinese are dumping their cheap products here”, because the same applies to the West, dumping their expensive products here. If we ourselves do not stand up and produce our own goods and enter the competition, then the trend of us being a dumping ground will continue.

Now, for those who complain about the so-called Chinese cheap products, I would like to remind them that 1 have never heard of any law forcing anyone to enter or buy from the Chinese outlets. So, it is a question of choice. The majority of those who cannot afford the expensive goods let them be allowed to get their needs from wherever they can afford.

We have after all seen some of these cheap goods lasting for years.

I am not condoning the exploitation through low paying of salaries. I am only against the negative attitude against our guests.

At the same time, let us also engage our own millionaires who pay their workers amounts ranging from N$300 to N$400 and those who pay their house maids and manservants peanuts in the form of, for example N$150 to N$300.



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