Master Your Destiny
Kazenambo Kazenambo - Our duty to make a difference
Kazenambo Kazenambo is well known in Namibia’s political arena for vocally raising controversial issues. After joining SWAPO in 1979 at the age of sixteen, Kazenambo fought with the movement until the struggle for independence ended in 1989. He served as a Deputy Minister and then as a Minister from 2005 to 2012. In an interview he shared his thoughts on duty and how he finds inner peace.
MYD: What does inner peace mean to you?
KK: You must know that you are on this earth for a purpose. If you are at war with yourself, you’ll always be on a warpath with everything. If you are frustrated and you believe that the frustration that you are going through is caused by the next person, then you are going to have a problem on this earth. First and foremost, you must shape your destiny. You must analyse where you are and how to overcome challenges, because we all face challenges in life.
MYD: How can Namibia get onto a path of peace with a past of hurt?
KK: The most important tool of liberation is to liberate yourself mentally. With the correct mindset you will climb mountains and cross valleys, but with the wrong mindset you will not move an inch. We cannot keep looking back. History provides a very important reference point as to our background, but we cannot get stagnant by always referring to the past. The past is the past – we must deal with the present to shape the future. I always say that we are the leaders we have been waiting for. It means that we are the leaders who should shape tomorrow economically, socially.
Of course we know very well that there are policies whose legacies are still haunting and negatively impacting us, but we have got a responsibility. Those who shaped those policies are no longer here. We are here, and we must shape the situation, shape the environment, hands on, without crying about the past.
MYD: How does this mindset affect our success in Namibia?
KK: Society is an amalgamation of individuals, the coming together of individuals. It’s up to me how I stand up and provide for myself, to deal with the current season. Government may assist me in the process, other human beings may assist me in the process, but my mindset will determine everything. I must be a self-starter; I must look for opportunities. Namibia belongs to everybody, and I’ve got a role to contribute to the improvement of this commonage.
I see people knocking down the next person, blaming the next person, vilifying the next person, either ethnically, religiously or otherwise, and for me this is a weak link. Blaming other people, sitting back and just relaxing in that queue, blaming your fate or your misfortunes on others – for me, that’s self-colonisation, a self-defeating approach. If something is obstructing me from taking off, I should ask myself whether these obstacles come from government policy, if they are man-made or what my contribution is to creating them.
If you are liberated, nobody will tell you how to live. It’s for you to say: “I am a human being and I belong to the earth, and all opportunities on earth are available to me as long as I use them within the boundaries of the law. I’m the self-liberator; the sky is my limit.”
If you are liberated, you will know that democracy provides space for all of us to articulate ourselves on issues. It provides space for us to say, “No, you cannot cross this boundary.” In a democracy there is no oppression, there is no suppression. That’s why I like democracy: you unleash your potential, be it mentally or physically. Our duty to make a difference Kazenambo Kazenambo
MYD: How did you find inner peace in your political career?
KK: Something that I found to be a guiding principle in life is that you must always be truthful to yourself. Truth is a liberator. Don’t lie to yourself. In many cases I was attacked in the field of politics, but it is my right to question things. Honesty, truthfulness, fairness and justice are my guiding principles; they are my breakfast, they are my lunch, they are my dinner, they are my sleeping pills.
MYD: What has helped you with this mindset?
KK: There is a book I read, called It’s Not Rocket Science, which says that there are no limits. While people are ridiculing your aims and objectives, focus on your aims and objectives. If you want to go for it, go for it. It’s not rocket science – even rocket science was invented by human beings. So always have a positive mind. It’s the world’s duty to put obstacles in your way; it’s your duty to cross those obstacles. As for those who are here to break human beings and break other beings, I am not their friend.
MYD: What wisdom do you want to pass on?
KK: My message is simple. We are here in our different colours, in our different sizes and with our differences. Let us relate and contribute. Our mission should be to improve. Our duty should be to face the challenges together. Let’s listen with respect. Let’s have an environment where we listen and hear one another.
Kazenambo’s story is part of a series celebrating Namibians in partnership with Master Your Destiny. Read more in the MYD Journal at: www.issuu.com/99fm/ docs/99fm_myd_book_2018