• I Call Him ‘Superman’

    By Jethro Kwenani
    My Father lost his father at the tender age of 12-years old and my late grandmother raised him and his siblings. Being the eldest was a lot of pressure, but he rose to the challenge. After school, he worked part-time to contribute to the household and help get his siblings through school. When I think back to when I was 12, I cannot even imagine having managed such a feat. That is just one of the reasons I call him Superman.
    He never had anyone to show him the ropes or to take the premature weight off his shoulders, yet he and my mother raised five brilliant children. His bedtime stories took us on mythical, humorous and deeply emotional journeys. I still think he is the best storyteller around. His love for music rubbed off on all of us. I will never forget the image of him dancing to his favourite Soul Brothers track. Until this day, I turn up the volume whenever I hear his favourite songs playing.
    As I reflect on the wonderful memories I have shared with my dad over the years, I am also encouraged to peep into the future and think about the many tough decisions that lie ahead of me. One day I will raise my own family, and fortunately, I will do this with the wisdom and courage that he has instilled in my brothers and I. Dad has also helped me live up to my name ‘Jethro’, which means to strive and succeed. I want to follow in my Superman’s footsteps.
    I remember the rides home in the car after the parent-teacher meetings, where my mother and father would encourage me to find a balance between sports and schoolwork, “Stay focused on your education,” they would say. After graduating from school, I realised just how important this encouragement was. Even now at varsity, his ‘well done son’ still humbles me. During my studies in Europe, he called every Sunday to make sure I was working, warm and safe.
    I broke down in tears when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He was a shell of the man. I kept asking the same questions over again, “What can I do? Why is this happening? Why aren’t the doctors doing enough? He is supposed to be ok, he is my Superman!” And, indeed he was, because dad beat prostate cancer.
    My dad’s journey is an inspiration to me and to anyone who needs or desires to pursue the impossible. He gave everything to everyone, even when there was little to give. He is the humblest and most generous person I know, constantly assisting others. Even though transport is so difficult in the village where he has retired, he still attends every funeral and lends a hand to anyone that needs help, and does this with a smile no matter the hour.
    Thanks to my dad, at 22, I have matured and I can walk on my own two feet. Although he is just a phone call away, I really miss him because there are still so many things I want to experience together with him, whether it be kicking balls with grandchildren or having interesting conversations with my girlfriend and I.
    No matter how old I get, my dad will forever be Superman. Life has no guarantees, and he may not meet his grandchildren, but I will tell his story and live his legacy. I hope to grow into the father whose children call him “Superman.”

    - Jethro Kwenani is a student at the Polytechnic of Namibia. This tribute is part of the GL News Service special series celebrating phenomenal fathers, offering fresh views on everyday news.

  • OSISA Speaks About Namibia’s Right Challenges

    According to a comment by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), no one could accuse Namibia's leading human rights institution, the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), of being sensationalist.

    OSISA states that when the LAC warns that the Namibian government is poised to implement a law that will undermine academic freedom, constitute a clear and present danger to Namibian democracy and open society in general, it is time for everyone to sit up and start worrying.

    The LAC concludes that the Act 'appears to violate both the letter and spirit of the Constitution, and the very idea of democracy and the free marketplace of ideas, characterised by the freedom of speech, thought and debate which helps sustain any democracy.'

    To read the article titled, “Clear and present danger,” click here.

  • Climate Change Hub for Southern Africa

    Southern African countries have agreed to launch a centre to tie together climate change studies across the region.

    South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia have signed a declaration to launch the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management in Windhoek, Namibia.

    Set up with €50 million in German aid, the centre will streamline regional scientific research on climate change trends and on managing natural resources to deal with them.

    To read the article titled, “SA joins neighbours for Windhoek climate change hub,” click here.

    Mail & Guardian
  • Centres Empowered to Promote Development

    The United Nations (UN) in Namibia held a workshop with several regions in Windhoek, which was aimed at staff and volunteers of multi-purpose community centres.

    The workshop was aimed at equipping participants with hands-on experience in finalising the mission statements and management structures for their centres.

    It was also aimed at expanding the knowledge, practice and to provide access to information in multiple formats to rural communities.

    To read the article titled, “Centres to promote development,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Namibian CSO to Hold Land Indaba

    CSOs will jointly host a land workshop to review the current status of Namibia's land reform process, which they have criticised as slow and riddled with inconsistencies and allegations of corruption and favouritism.

    Uhuru Dempers of Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Republic of Namibia's Desk for Social Development (DfSD) says the conference will come up with an action plan which Government and specifically the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement will be expected to act upon.

    The organisations question the criteria and management of the two programmes, criticising the process as not pro-poor anymore, and not having the desired impact of poverty alleviation.

    To read the article titled, “Civil society to hold land indaba,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Call for Africa to Use ‘Adaptable’ ICTs

    The Namibian Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda, has called on African countries to continue developing print and electronic media in a manner that suits their conditions.

    Kaapanda, who believes that the exchange of ideas between African countries will result in a developed continent, states that, "If we implement the good things, we would have learnt from others then we are guaranteed of success."

    "We appreciate the advancement made by Zimbabwe in the technology and as a country we have to implement some of their programmes to develop our country."

    To read the article titled, “Namibian minister Kaapanda urges use of adaptable ICTs,” click here.

    All Africa
  • African Youth Day Conference 2011

    Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth)

    The Organisation of African Youth (OAYouth) is the youth platform for information exchange, forum for debate on African issues and a network of future political, corporate, academic, literary, religious and traditional leaders in all African contexts.

    The African Youth Day was declared and adopted by the African Union (AU) in 2006 to be commemorated on 1 November each year. It has since evolved as the most powerful platform of young people of Africa.

    OAYouth, in collaboration with Phelps Stokes and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is hosting the ‘African Youth Day Conference 2011 (AYDAC'11)’ on 1 November 2011 in Johannesburg.

    The youth of Africa will convene at AYDAC’11 to celebrate the African Youth Day. The conference will pave way for youth to examine workable methods to improve youth unity as well as strengthen youth economic empowerment through leadership development, entrepreneurship support and agricultural transformation.

    Conference Objectives:

    • Echo the voice of ordinary young people of Africa;
    • Share information and best practices in promoting opportunities for youth encouraging youth to start new entrepreneurship initiatives;
    • Establish suitable structures for meeting the unique needs for youth business start-ups in developing economies in Africa;
    • Build lasting relationships between youth and business institutions;
    • Infuse a gender perspective and rights-based approach to policies and programs for youth;
    • Cultivate in the youth the spirit of accountability, transparency and integrity (ATI).
    Only young people of between 15 and 35 who are of nationality of any African State will qualify to apply.

    Cost: R2 430 per delegate.

    For sponsorships, exhibitions and applications, write to:

    Enquiries: Tel: +27 73 445 4355.

    For more about The Organisation of African Youth, refer to

    Event start date: 
    Event venue: 
    Ingwenya Country Escape, Lanseria, Johannesburg
    Event type: 
  • State on Top of Human Rights Reporting

    Namibian Deputy Minister of Justice, Tommy Nambahu, says the delay in submitting the latest periodic reports on the realisation and protection of human rights to the United Nations Rights Council is not due to a lack of competent staff.

    Responding to a question put to the ministry by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), Nambahu said the delay is as a result of insufficient human and material resources and an inappropriate internal organisational framework for multi-sectoral coordination on human rights issues.

    Namibia has a reporting obligation under seven major international human rights instruments, on which the country has submitted reports on six treaties.

    To read the article titled, “State on top of human rights reporting,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Right to Kill’ Must Go Now

    Namibia's National Human Rights Organisation (NAMRIGHTS) vehemently condemns the apparent blatant murder of a motorist, who was reportedly shot dead by members of the Namibian Police (NamPol) in the City of Windhoek in the small hours of Sunday morning. Human rights sources yesterday and media reports this morning indicate that NamPol members have shot and killed Mathew Shipanga (36), a Windhoek resident, who allegedly ignored a Police order to stop.

    According to the country’s main independent English daily, The Namibian, Col. Silvanus Nghishidimbwa, who is NamPol’s Crime Investigation Coordinator in the Khomas Region, explained that the fatal shooting took place when Shipanga, who was traveling in a vehicle, failed to heed Police officers’ orders to stop his vehicle.

    Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1977 (Act 51 of 1977) as amended---which is notoriously known among human rights circles as “the right to kill section”---states that, in the event that a suspect resists arrest or flees, the arresting officer may, “in order to effect the arrest use such force as may in the circumstances be reasonably necessary to overcome the resistance or prevent the person concerned from fleeing”.

    The Act also states that if the person is being arrested for a Schedule 1 offense, or if the arresting officer has reasonable ground to suspect that such an offense has been committed, and the arresting officer is unable to effect the arrest or prevent the suspect from fleeing by other means either than by killing him, “the killing shall be deemed to be justifiable homicide”.

    “However, in terms of Article 6 of the Namibian Constitution---read together with the provisions of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)---no law may prescribe death as a competent sentence, and, further, that no executions shall take place in Namibia. Suffice is to say that the Constitution is the supreme law of the country and law implementation officials are ipso facto strictly prohibited from carrying out any executions of suspects, for whatever reasons, save in self defence. We are increasingly becoming alarmed by reports of trigger-happy Police officers as well as reports of Police brutality”, said NAMRIGHTS’ head, Phil ya Nangoloh, this morning.

    Col. Nghishidimbwa reportedly said that the fatal shooting incident is being investigated by NamPol’s Complaints and Discipline Unit (CDU). However, NAMRIGHTS is, instead, calling upon the Ministry of Safety and Security to appoint an independent commission, consisting of, among others, human rights defenders, to investigate the circumstances leading to the killing of Shipanga.

    We are also urging Parliament to urgently abolish the offensive elements of Section 49 of Act 51 of 1977 in order to avoid further unlawful killings of suspects by trigger-happy NamPol members.

    For more about NAMRIGHTS, refer to:
    To view other NGO press releases, visit:


    Date published: 
    Namibia's National Human Rights Organisation
  • NGO Launches Anti-Violence Campaign

    Women's Action for Development (WAD) has launched the Men's Action against Violence (MAAV), a countrywide programme aimed at addressing male violence against women and children in Windhoek, Namibia.

    WAD executive director, Veronica de Klerk, says that the increasing number of violent acts against women and girls, “Need to be addressed from another angle namely by educating and sensitising men and boys about this social evil".

    De Klerk states that WAD's involvement on the ground with communities during the past has revealed that many men believe violence against women is mainly an expression of anger and frustration as a consequence of their bloated egos, their frustrations due to unemployment or the fact that they have witnessed brutal physical violation and disrespect towards their mothers by their fathers as young boys.

    To read the article titled, “WAD plans to curb plague of violence,” click here.
    All Africa
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