By Victor Angula|
Bank Windhoek will not be drawn into the lack of housing problem of Namibia despite finding itself in a compromised position after an image of a shack (ombashu) with its logo made rounds on social media a few days ago.
Displayed prominently at the front of the shack is a logo of Bank Windhoek as the board containing the logo was one of the discarded materials used to create the shack.
By the look of the geological locality, the shack, which could be a shebeen, a house or kindergarten, may be somewhere in either the regions of //Karas, Hardap, Khomas, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Kunene or Oshikoto south. And Bank Windhoek says officials of the bank are now on a mission to locate it and talk to its owner.
“We have a policy in place of monitoring and managing all the branding materials such as logos and any other material for the Bank, backed up by a team of experts. Unfortunately, this image has a different story to tell. We want to meet the dwelling owner to share how they got the old logo,” says Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services Ms Jacquiline Pack.
“Thus, once we saw this image, we immediately asked the online community on the social media platform to help us locate the owner and location. So far, we have had over close to 30 000 people reached. Some provided possible leads that we are currently busy investigating.”
Pack is responding to questions sent to Bank Windhoek as follows:
‘1. In the attached image, there is shown a house made out of materials collected from places where only discarded material may be found. This type of housing structure is called a shack or “mbashu” in the vernacular. It is one of the most common housing structures in Namibia.
Strangely enough, one piece of the patchwork which makes up this house is a board displaying the logo of Bank Windhoek.
Is this not ironic that a logo of Bank Windhoek, a nationally and internationally renowned Namibian bank, would find itself used as one of the discarded pieces used to create this type of a “house” for a citizen of this free and independent country?
‘2. This image shows the disparities, inequalities, and the harsh realities of lack of housing in this country. What is Bank Windhoek’s take on this?
‘3. Bank Windhoek is a financial institution that has a fully-fledged housing/property department. The Bank has been growing every year since the last 31 years of Namibia’s independence. Yet lack of housing has been increasing together with the growth of Bank Windhoek.
Can Bank Windhoek morally and with good conscience say that its housing department has been doing well when juxtaposed to the realities of lack of housing for the majority of the people of this country as indicative of the image?’
Pack’s response however is dismissive of questions over the role of banks in the housing problem of Namibia, as she says:
“We unfortunately cannot comment on the national housing issue as it remains a challenge for the country as a whole.”
It is also not clear what will happen to the owner of the shack once he or she is found.
In the photo: The shack which is now under Bank Windhoek’s “investigation”.