We are often told there is always sunshine after every storm, and this is one way of how we console ourselves when we are going through turbulence.
This always turns out to be true but often we turn to lose patience as the much awaited sunshine seems to take forever to come. Having said that; of late wherever you go the is always one topic that is on the lips of every Namibian, form the church parking lots to the shebeens in Eveline Street. At once, they all have something of common interest, which is the country’s current economic troubles.
On the flip side of the coin, I have started to see the positive side of this whole tribulation, of course not putting a blind eye on the job losses but looking at the long-term benefits this will bring to the country and how this will change our mindset as consumers. Generally speaking, the majority of Namibians are known to be big spenders in spite of us being classified as a middle-income country – the with majority of our citizens still living in abject poverty.
Someone might want to argue by shifting the blame onto colonialism. Of course they might have a point given the checkered history of our country, but we can park that and leave it for another day.
Warren Buffet once said we should learn to save before spending and in our case we often do the opposite. The common trend was that when the well-connected fellows are awarded tenders, the first thing they did was to visit the German automobile dealers to place an order for the latest top of the range toys.
Once the purchase is out of the way, they then would try to contact the suppliers to try to get the job done and we know how these have turned out in the end.
It ended that either the funds were no longer sufficient to complete the job, or there are issues with suppliers.
As a result, some abandon the construction sites, vanishing in thin air. The next time we get to hear about them is when we see their exclusive automobiles going through the hammer in Prosperita. The same could be said when you visited Eveline Street a few years ago. You would know who had got a tender, judging from how decorated their tables at the bars were and the brands of alcohol they guzzled.
You didn’t have to have money to come back home intoxicated to the fullest. All you needed was taxi fare to and from home, the rest will sort itself out when you get there in that (in)famous street. Back then I had relatives who come to Windhoek from the region for a workshop or training for almost a month on something they completely had nothing to do with.
Imagine a clerk coming to Windhoek for three weeks for training on global warming! Just for argument sake, what changes will that person bring to the organisation after attending this type of training?
All that is in the past now. As the saying goes, “All good things come to end”. We have hit rock bottom where the golden rule of nature, ‘survival of the fittest,’ applies the most. The greatest characteristic of all mammals is the ability to adapt when conditions are not favourable and we as Namibians have just done that. We have survived the worst than this during colonial times. People only spend when it is really necessary. Budgets cuts are not only taking place within government institutions, but within households too.
People have adopted a new mindset, we have all realised that diamond are truly not forever. I see a prosperous nation emerging out of this. A nation that would thrive on little resources at its disposal, a new dawn is on its way. We all have hope. Our mindset changed for the better. As the saying goes, life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning how to dance in the storm, and we have just done that.