Namibia turned 28 years this week, having attained independence from apartheid South Africa on March 21, 1990.
While the general meaning of independence is the state of being independent, there is, at a deeper level, a compelling requirement to hold hands as a co-dependent people.
Independence doesn’t mean we do not need other people or institutions in order to function as a society. Even at international level, no country can claim to not need another. Even the so-called superpowers work in cahoots with their peers and allies for their own existence.
Namibia recently revamped her foreign policy and, in fact, renamed the whole concept to ‘international relations’ – in full recognition of this very requirement to work in partnership with other nations and institutions. Independence means you add at least as much value back as you take from another person. At work, the richest man in the building did not accumulate his wealth in isolation. There are men and women below him who work their hands off to put their boss at the pinnacle of the rich list. Workers too depend on their bosses to lead them and place them on a strategic path to prosperity.
The human ecosystem demands that as part of our condition as a race, we depend upon the support of others for our wellbeing. Business moguls could be flaunting their riches on luxury yachts, believing the world revolves around them and that their wealth makes them the alpha and omega.
Yet, it is the buyers of their products and services that propelled them to their status – because of that element of dependency and co-dependency.
Independence is a collective attitude and mindset. It grows within communities committed to increasing their autonomy and control in certain ways. We cannot build freedom without others.
Against that clarity of thought, we must get back to the basics of nationhood. The meaning and purpose of nation must be understood first if we’re to understand the overarching meaning of co-independence as citizens. The term nation is a notoriously amorphous word, often used recklessly for political expediency.
When politicians ascend to power and forget the masses that put them in such positions, it is a sign that such leaders have forgotten the interdependence nature of society. When leaders, political and otherwise, fail to serve, it is often because they are gloating in illusions of self-importance and the fiction of independence.
When cabals and syndicates of powerful persons enjoy unfettered exclusive access to national resources at the expense of the entire citizenry, it’s because of that very illusion that they are independent of anyone else and can do whatever their hearts desire without repercussions.
But with such actions, there is always a consequence. The world’s biggest criminal cartels, which had judges and police chiefs in their pockets, are currently either languishing in jail as is the case with Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán or are dead and buried like Pablo Escobar.
In summary, we reiterate that we all need each other for our countries to function productively. We must all hold hands and march together towards a better life of prosperity and great livelihood for everyone. Only this would give meaning to the pompous political rhetoric of independence.