Thursday, 7 May 2009

I've learned a new word today

Working in the media I was already familiar with the awful concept of 'infotainment', but reading Namibia's weekly Southern Times newspaper I stumbled over another creation of our spoilt and easily distracted societies: 'polytainment'. That's the answer of the SWAPO Party Secretary General, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, to political youth apathy. She says, "these born-frees do not have much interest to listen for hours on end to political speeches, that's why you have to combine it with entertainment."

I'd be curious to see how 'polytainment' actually shapes up. Unfortunately we're still a bit too early. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for November and campaigning hasn't really started yet.

The SWAPO party has swept all past elections since Namibia's independence in the early 1990s - always with a comfortable two thirds majority. But in 2007, Hidipo Hamutenya and Jesaya Nyamu, two former leading SWAPO members and cabinet ministers, broke ranks and founded the new opposition party Rally for Democracy and Progress. It's in some ways comparable to COPE breaking away from the ANC in South Africa. Now, it's too early to tell how things will turn out, but maybe they should also look into to 'polytainment'.

And there's another interesting opposition party: the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance. Now, Turnhalle means Gym in German, but I wonder if this has another meaning here... I'll have to find out.


Anonymous 8 May 2009 at 07:54  

It sounds like you´ve been in Namibia for ages and are Hidipo´s and Jesaya´s best friend! Or do you intend to run for presidency too?

Barbara 8 May 2009 at 17:04  

Well, I was not planning. Do you personally know Hidipo and Jesaya? Maybe you can shed some light on the Turnhalle Alliance?

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