Anna Nakatana – Namibia

Anna Nakatana – Namibia

Date: July 1, 2015
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The work of Councillor Nakatana involves attending council and community meetings, and collecting the community’s concerns. Then, collectively with other councillors, she works to find solutions to their problems. As a leader, she is very attached to the safety of the community, and women in particular. This led her to join the Community Against Crime group for Otjiwarongo in January 2011 where her efforts earned a position of Secretary for the Community Stop Crime campaign.

Anna Nakatana was born in Otjiwarongo, and went to school there and at Augustineum College. Following a school strike while at Augustineum, she joined a nursing coarsen Tsumeb and she later worked in Outjo and Otjiwarongo until her retirement in 2010. Councillor Nakatana became a Local Authority for Otjiwarongo in December 2010, where she holds the portfolio of Women and Gender Affairs. Her political career started at Augustinuem where she started as Youth Secretary for the Students’ Movement. There, she was involved in mobilizing other students to become members. Her career in nursing was motivated by two registered nurses who used to visit the school to sensitize and encourage learners who wanted to follow the nursing profession. This involved taking interested learners to the hospital for visits. While in the nursing profession, she developed a deep care for the wellbeing of human kind by observing what people go through. All these experiences influenced her to be a caring politician who looks beyond power to leading a safe and crime-free community.

“Having observed from an early age how the apartheid system made people to suffer, and also experiencing problems in an independent Namibia such as crime, poverty, disparities/inequalities,” she said; “for example how blacks were mistreated by the colonial forces and how our parents were made to work for meagre wages that could not support the family. All these motivated me to become a politician and an advocate for my people.”

“My portfolio in Council – Women and Gender Affairs, my former experience as a nurse as well as my involvement in public campaigns such as crime, made me a suitable political leader to be linked to Gender Links in our Council. Since then, I think this involvement has helped me to approach community interventions in a way that you engage the community including perpetrators, to come up with prevention measures and not only corrective measures. Going beyond leadership expectations to being a people’s servant in the community is also something that I have learned.”

“I have always been a beacon of support in the community, and still today when am a councillor, the community regards me as more than just a politician. For example, I remember an incident when a woman in labour was brought to my house at night. As is the trend in many townships, a stone was thrown on my roof to wake us up. Due to my knowledge and experience I assisted the woman in labour to deliver healthy twin boys in my house, and to this day, I still have contact with this woman and her twins. The other was an incident whereby my neighbour’s son was fatally stabbed and I had to stop the bleeding while waiting for the ambulance to prevent death. All these experiences made me realize the importance of giving ourselves to others even in risky situations if it means saving another person’s life.”

Through interventions on crime prevention, it became evident that addressing crime also required addressing other social issues affecting society, such as poverty, hunger, unemployment, health etc. “Crime affects all of us, but how do we sit at one table and talk about crime interventions if some of the people with you have not eaten anything for days?” Helping needy people with her own resources is something that makes Councillor Nakatana an outstanding leader.

“Nutrition is a basic need for every human being. Therefore, providing food essentials to the needy is something that will help to improve the wellbeing of the community and prevent sicknesses. We can make a difference if we all can share a bit of what we have with the less privileged. Imagine what a better society we can be. And we can do it!”

“On one of my routine visits to the informal settlement area, I came across a family who did not have food. A four year old child ran to us and was shaking with hunger. I gave the little food I had to him and you could see that he was very dehydrated as well. This really affected me and made me sad. I drove back home and collected some food, which I took back to the mother. The food was my groceries at home, but I was compelled to share it because of what I saw.”

“Being a political leader has been one of the best experiences, because it has helped to make it easy for me to carry-out my outreach services to the communities and also to be to find solutions to problems affecting the community.”

Crime prevention is focused on the wellbeing of society, especially women. The group addresses issues such as street lighting, discouraging people drinking in the streets or people who vandalize street signs and lights.

“With Gender Links, I gained a lot of insight on how to behave as a woman, especially to be assertive and to be able to take charge of my community, even if I am a woman. People should not look down on me or undermine my efforts that are meant for a good cause just because am a woman. Becoming a political Councillor has also contributed to this change. My friends and my political party (RDP – which requires quarterly reporting on work done in the community) also motivated me by encouraging me to tackle certain problems affecting the community from the perspective of council.

“My role model is Dr. Liberthine Amathila. She helped the marginalized community (Hai//om San and Ovahimba) and other poor. Dr Liberthine is very hardworking despite being in a male dominated environment.”

“My future plan is to establish an organisation that will support needy communities with food, shelter, and other basic items. Gender Links has helped to open the door for me to empower my knowledge and skills towards social wellbeing. I want to continue to serve my community and to make a difference, and make my society a better place. If I can I believe we all can!”




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