I must confess my mixed feelings when some persons complained about the fact that Pupkewitz had not retired and held a regular business schedule until his last days. One part of me agreed and the other part thought that we were advocating a culture that we cannot sustain, more so in the light of the fact that the youth of Namibia do not seem to be interested in working hard.
Visit the Herero Mall at seven in the morning and return at two in the afternoon. And if your time allows, return at six in the evening. You will find the same patrons you found at seven in the morning, many of them hardly able to open their eyes and, battling to prevent the bar tender from obeying his curfew. Go to the reservaat and see who are tendering the cattle in many family settings. Many children of these households hang out at the Herero mall. Look at our school results and imagine who will take over from the likes of Pupkewitz, if only 14% of grade twelve candidates do pass examinations with some plausible symbols.
Ask how many of the school children from the villages do go home to help with tendering livestock, the very mode of survival that enables grandmother from Ondjiripumua, Vergenoeg and Chaka to pay school fees and the wages of Taddeus and Petrus who look after the families’ livestock while the children dance in Windhoek and attend NAMCOL classes for six years with no progress.
In December, go to the All Stars Tournament at the Khomasdal Stadium and see how many of these children cheer their clubs when they should have gone home to help with the chores that make for the families’ life sustaining resources. Observe all these and decide whether you still want those who sustain the economic equilibrium to retire and sit at home, waiting to die. We need a good debate on this retirement business, more so when the demand to retire is on business-people, not aging politicians. At least we have so many who can make for good politicians or not so? But few who can step in the footsteps of Harold Pupkewitz and Werner Lists. And, we must confess that the business personality groomed by the experience of yester year is different in orientation, acumen and experience from the born-free business mentality on display.
Namibia is so unfortunate in that we have a small cadre of successful business personalities, more so from black communities, with zeal to match, emulate or even just imitate the likes of Samson !Gobs, Aupa Indongo and Jairus Shikale. I shiver when I think about Sydney Martin, Ben Zaaruka, George Namundjebo, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Akapandi Endjala among others, having to retire from regular business operations. What the hell will they be doing in retirement when this country needs them to engineer the economy through their tested business skills and commitment to success? They need go to the Oviritje concerts and All Stars soccer tournaments, round them all up, groom them to take over when they retire.
Otherwise, please follow the example set by Harold Pupkewitz.
Kaende Naua Muingona!