The Tale of the Chicks

By The Author [When My Mind is Liberated]

Namibia’s is a country made out of chicks trapped on a granite bed of ancient mythologies of “Do what I say and not what I do”.

We still believe that looking adults dead in the eye is a sign of disrespect. However, looking away from an adult amounts to being “diep skelm”.

This is as complicated as the scenario of the “chicken or the egg”.

At the convenience of adults, children are to respect their authority irrespective of them being wrong or right. For any child to act contrary to this very tricky code of conduct, means punishment for insubordination and disrespecting an adult.

In many traditions, adults are either right or right and this can be very confusing for a child who is trying to be as child-like and humble and obedient as much as possible. Daring to answer questions goes against the practice of being seen and not heard. This, after a very clear question is posed, that requires an equally clear answer; leaves the child as confused as it can be.

Children are constantly in limbo and cocooned by so many contradicting norms and customs practiced at the discretion of adults. Notwithstanding the fact that respect is as different as day and night, from fear, fear is translated as respects by many communities.

However, the adults feel respected only when a child is in fear and they therefore make sure to instil fear within children.

From the perspective of children, they feel as if the parents and adults are against them and that as children they are irrelevant. They live in constant fear hence, more children become rebellious and non-communicative with the adult world.

On the other hand, you have wolves and vultures hiding under the norms and cultural practices which they have over the years transformed into opportunities to satisfy their desires.

It’s not strange that grown-ups have taken advantage of the fluid traditional practices that put children at their mercy. We have read, heard and at times witnessed the deliberate misinterpretation of norms and customs meant to keep peace, and harmony within the communities.

We know of uncles, teachers, clergymen, brothers and nephews that rely on the silent support from women, in cases where young girls and boys are assaulted, molested and raped. It’s like normal for adults to start to negotiate after such incidents surface, to keep the peace within the families by buying and paying for the silence.

Families have always resolved such abominations with the signing of unwritten resolutions of secrets; they bartered pain for cash, exchanged favours for silence. In these negotiations, the victim is but a commodity, a means to greater wealth, blackmail and bullying.

Children are the new chick-currency which adults trade with every other day throughout the country. All these criminal acts are known to both the law-enforcement agencies and the traditional authorities.

Children in Namibia have become nothing but chicks that are ordered to chew rocks and be happy to be eating.

By: The Author