You cannot build a nation on the back of a drinking culture

By Victor Angula|

It was former president Hifikepunye Pohamba who said, “I don’t want to be a leader of a drunk nation.”

But through his term as president, Namibia remained a drunk nation. Even after his successor the current president Hage Geingob assumed office with all the credentials of an educated leader, Geingob has continued the legacy of leadership of a drunk nation.

High unemployment, poor work ethic, social ills such as gender-based violence, and others, are a result of a culture where a lot more people spend a lot more time at bars, shebeens, cuca shops, and other drinking places.

If research would be done, they might just find out that Namibia has nearly half the number of shebeens as the number of houses. In informal settlements they may just find that a fifth of all housing units have a shebeen in the front yard.

Now how do you build a country with such a situation? How much of Namibia’s money, time and energy has been spent into this drinking sector? How much productivity has gone to waste as a result of this drinking culture?

If the authorities were honest enough, they would admit that Namibia has not a problem of drug abuse but a problem of alcohol abuse. Even the most educated and intellectual niggas of our society, you hardly hear them talking about the problem of a drinking culture.

They will talk about everything; they will talk about human trafficking and drug trafficking. But they don’t want to talk about the very issue which has retarded Namibia more than anything else – drinking culture.

They talk about the need to improve our academic performance. They talk about the problem of high failure rates in poor communities. But they don’t want to say that where there is not a reading culture but only a drinking culture academic performance cannot be.

They talk of the need for the country to improve its economic performance, but they don’t want to say that a drunk nation (just like a drunk man) will not be productive at work or in bed or anywhere.

So long as drinking is a part of our culture, Namibia will remain a nation of drunkards.