A reading culture or a drinking culture

By Victor Angula |

During a festive season, as the one that we are in right now, where two to three weeks are set aside for people to try and forget about work and other worries and instead have time to relax, unwind and be merry with friends, families, or maybe just being themselves alone somewhere,

The one industry that is set to make money is the drinking industry. And where the drinking industry is making a lot more money, it means that people are getting a lot more poorer. Poorer by losing money to an unproductive activity and also poorer by missing out on opportunities for a better life.

In the three weeks period of the festive season people will drink more alcohol than they have done during any other period of the year.

And this is because drinking is part of our culture.

In fact drinking is promoted. The one industry that is the most marketed is the alcohol industry. Especially in semi-urban areas (in townships and informal settlements) and in rural areas, everywhere you look there is a bar, shebeen or other drinking spot with a fancy name painted across the front door.

And this is one thing that is beating us down. Poor societies are poor because they have a drinking problem.

On the other hand, rich societies, even those wealthy suburbs of our country, don’t have this drinking culture. Instead what they have is the reading culture.

During this festive season, rich communities will be reading. People will relax their minds, unwind or even be themselves alone somewhere reading some story book. Even if they want to have fun and enjoy with friends or families, they will not drink much since drinking is not their thing, but will rather create some time afterwards to read.

And after the festive season is over the person tends to come back to work rejuvenated mentally and physically, and perhaps the mind also full of ideas inspired through the act of reading, and so the person may be more productive at their job during those few months of the beginning of the year.

On the other hand, the person who spent the festive season on a drinking spree will be back at work full of hangover, depressed and both mentally and physically drained. The first few months of the year will not be productive.

In fact those few months could be months of financial suffering since during the festive season the person had spent more than was necessary, which was a result of poor judgement and irresponsibility caused by alcohol consumption.

Therefore no one can say that I am a false prophet if I declare that with this drinking culture that we have Namibia will not get anywhere socially and economically.

The majority of Namibians will remain poor, because you reap what you sowed in the festive seasons of your life.