Namibia President Sam Nujoma banned all foreign TV programs on the national television starting with October 1. He addressed the population in a live TV program and said that western TV programs brainwash the young population, as they abounded in violence and sex scenes. The president says that such programs can’t be shown in Namibia, a country with lasting Christian and Muslim traditions (80% of the population are Christians, and the rest are Muslims). The presidential order is already in effect: the fantasty series Dune, which used to be broadcast daily, was immediately replaced by an “entertaining” report from a recent congress of Namibia’s ruling party.
However, Namibian democracy is alive, which is proven by the president’s readiness to establish a dialogue. For instance, the president suggested that employees of the national broadcasting corporation should express their opinions on the ban of foreign TV programs. Almost all TV workers agreed that western TV programs were harmful for the Namibian youth. There was only one white woman in the corporation’s management who ventured to raise an objection. She said that not all European values were so bad.
How Sam Nujoma responded was a rather restrained reaction for an African president; he accused the opportunist woman of “British colonial mentality” (which is by the way the strongest swear-word for the Namibian people) and also accused her of lesbian inclinations (people are brought to court in Namibia for such actions). It is not clear yet how the future career of the woman will develop.