San should stop sleeping and change for the better: !Xoo Chief


The !Xoo Traditional Authority in the Aminuis Constituency of the Omaheke Region on Saturday inaugurated Hendrik Martin as its new chief.
This follows the death of Queen Sofia Jacob in October 2014.
The !Xoo Traditional Authority was established and recognised by Government under the leadership of the late Queen Sofia Jacob.
Shortly after his inauguration, Chief Martin called for unity among the San community, urging them to have a more positive attitude towards life.
“We the San people always say we have been left behind but if we pull together, we will never be last. If you are a San and you still act and regard yourself as a child, how do you expect someone else to help you? Please let us stop sleeping and let us do something for ourselves,” he urged.
Martin also appealed to his community to adhere to and be ambassadors of the Harambee Prosperity Plan introduced by President Hage Geingob recently as a vehicle of growth and development for all Namibians.
“I have grown with the San people; I am a father, a son, a member of this community and I know how we San people perceive ourselves. We have to make a self-introspection and see how we can change ourselves, only then can we go forward,” he stated.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa, in a speech read on her behalf, emphasised the need for cooperation and teamwork between government and traditional leaders as demonstrated by Queen Jacob during her rule.
She acknowledged the development brought by the late Jacob such as schools, medical centres and various other projects in the region, adding that the smooth transition of power within the !Xoo Traditional Authority is a milestone and a reflection of unity among them.
Shaningwa urged the new chief to represent the trust, hope, wishes and aspirations of community members for a better future.
“They expect you to listen to their concerns and respond positively to their needs. The welfare of your community is your responsibility as a leader,” said the minister.
She singled out equitable access to quality education, healthcare facilities, potable water, sanitation, and decent gainful employment and food security as key areas of concern among the !Xoo community.
Shaningwa noted that the Traditional Authorities Act 25 of 2000 empowers traditional leaders to be custodians of customary laws, which they must uphold and protect to preserve their culture, language and traditional values.
The event was attended by various traditional authorities in the region including the Okotjituuo Traditional Authority; Tsumkwe West !Kung Traditional Authority; and Hai//om San Traditional Authority.

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