There is no doubt Namibia is a country faced with many challenges. Equally, the country has massive potential to reach the lofty heights of success and shared prosperity as no challenge is insurmountable.
Like many other nations, ours is built on a strong foundation of culture, hospitality and multi-ethnicity that shapes the peace and stability we enjoy today.
It is interesting to note that since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Namibians from all walks of life, including politicians, admirably landed their voice to the fight against this health crisis.
Indeed, our shared value system encouraged us to be frontliners in our own right and tackle the pandemic with determination in order to save precious lives.
Although the battle is not over yet, we have collectively shown good cause and resolve to make our country and her people safe through this display of active citizenship.
However, one is perplexed to ask what the future really holds in these times of uncertainty.
This brings us to the issue of patriotism, nationhood and national pride.
While launching the ‘My Namibia, My Country, My Pride’ campaign in 2011, former president Hifikepunye Pohamba said: “Let us take pride in our national symbols because they are the threads that hold our social fabric together.
Let us form and cultivate a common Namibian identity, which is grounded in the values of hard work, mutual respect, tolerance and a burning desire to always do better.”
This rallying call came against the backdrop of what many considered as unpatriotic acts by some citizens.
Now, almost eight years down the line, it is becoming clearer each day that patriotism has become wanting, hence there is a serious need to inspire and instil pride amongst Namibians in order for us to develop and prosper as a nation.
The Nationhood and National Pride (NNP) programme launched this week by the Presidency aims to tackle this specific issue by promoting active citizenship and a clarion call for all Namibians to uphold the intrinsic values that have helped this nation emerge and overcome historical trials and tribulations as President Hage Geingob greatly emphasised this week.
It is therefore critical that we forge an inclusive national identity that we use as a basis to advance and promote the general wellbeing of this great nation.
The spirit of patriotism will only remain if Namibians see each other and treat each other with respect and dignity irrespective of our backgrounds and status in society.