Mention the name Job Amupanda and you quickly have an opinion expressed by the hearer. Almost immediately Affirmative Repositioning comes up. Known as the radical activist, the person who is fighting for land for all Namibians and the author of words like ‘zombies’ and ‘elites.’ As he would say in his own words, he refuses to be reduced to a ‘jacket’, a ‘consequence’ and ‘extension of other people’s opinion’.
Many have admired him for his superior insights on current affairs and how he uncovers many injustices in the country. Job has been often been characterized as one of the figures against the government of the day. And oft times, leaders look at him as a nuisance, a disruption and simply just someone who makes a lot of noise. Equally so, his ideas are seen to be a disturbance to national unity.
Loved by many and loathed by some, much has been written about the young activist. However, the untold story of this 29 year-old is that of his life outside AR. The Lounge caught up with him and chatted about the his social life.
1.When he goes home?
I live with my two sisters who take good care of me. But that does not mean easy living. I have huge responsibilities at home and sometimes it can be too much. But it gives me purpose to do some of these things. When one goes home, you become yourself no matter what your title dictates or your political stance on issues. People know who you are and they are able to tell you your own mistakes. They don’t want anything from you and that’s the most beautiful thing. They just want to have conversations with you. They know when you are angry or sad. They know you better. Home is just a natural environment for me.
2.What sport activities do you participate in?
I used to be a huge soccer fan. In fact I think I tried out almost everything. I did boxing when I was younger and I was very successful at it. I have probably more than 20 certificates in boxing. I went until the National Amateur Championship in 2004. I wanted to continue when I came to Windhoek, but it became a little difficult.
3.Any Madam Boss around?
It’s complicated. Laughs! I don’t have time. I’m always busy and girls like nagging. I’m a very difficult guy. I rebel against the order of things. I rebel against flowers and wedding rings. So you can just imagine.
4.What is a romantic date for you?
You see, I reject those concepts. But, it would be a walk in areas where two people would not usually walk. We need to explore areas together. What is romantic about sitting at Wimpy? I would want to walk barefoot with some girl in the village on a sunny day. Get tired, sit down and drink water from a well, wash our faces in the dam. So it is extremely difficult for materialist girls to like me.
5.Movies or Books?
Books! I can always get movies on my USB or someone’s laptop. But every now and then, particularly with the girls I live with, we go to the movies.
6.Who do you confide in?
It depends on what I want to talk about. But when I’m down, I go home in Omaalala. In fact I go home almost every month. I go under the trees. Speak to the birds. You look at the birds constructing their nests and you realize how easy it is to be a bird. There is not real estate agent. There is no transportation. There is no developer. So when I’m down and I go home, it also gives me the opportunity to be with family. When you go home, those kids at home always have the same simple request when you come – sweets and Simba Chips. So that is the environment I confide in.
7.Who are your friends?
I have different friends in different categories. I have activist friends. I have friends who are in academia. I have friends in all facets of life and some of them are crosscutting. There are friends that we meet and we just discuss cats. There are friends with whom I discuss my struggles. But what is more important is what the friendship means to me. Friendship to me means understanding. It also means common perspective of the past, present and the future. It also means being there for someone at all times.
8. What music do you listen to?
Growing up, I wanted to sing reggae. In fact, I had a song written about children crying. But at the moment, I listen to a combination of genres. In Kwaito, I would listen to The Dogg, Young T, Exit and others. And then I would have traditional music with Tate Kwela, Kuku Nkandanga and Nakale. And then I would listen to Shitana and PDK with the pop flair. But I don’t like music where men sing like women. I hate that. I would be traumatized if I have a child who sings like that. I doubt they are even going to be musicians. But I am a huge fan of reggae. I have always been listening to reggae for a number of reasons. Reggae is not just music but it is also almost like psychology. If you don’t feel it, you will not know it. And if you don’t know it, you will not be able to touch it.
If I had the money, I would do what they do in Jamaica called Riddims. So I would put together Ras Sheehama, Setson & Mighty Dreads, Buju Kachoko and Firely Dreads. If I can get six or so, it will even be better. I will pay for their studio time and they produce different riddims.
9.Who would you work with on a Hit song?
I would go with Buju Kachoko, Shitana, Young T and Exit. You see that all these guys have a deep consciousness.
10. Your Dream car?
I always wanted to buy a BMW but I grew out of it. Then I wanted to buy a Beetle which I managed to buy. Unfortunately it burned, but I’m having it repaired. It is a historical car. There are people who drive it and I identify with them. It is just a simple car. At the moment I have a bakkie. So I want to leave both cars to my children. The Beetle will be for my daughter and the backkie will be for my son. And then I will maybe buy a Jeep SRT.
11.If not an Activist, what would you be?
When I returned to Namibia in 2011 from South Africa, I was greatly influenced by black consciousness and I told myself that I would never work for a white person. So I went back to the village and people asked why am I at the village with a Masters degree. I took on my political journey and we all know what happened. I actually wanted to study Law but no one in my family supported it. There was some misinformed understanding that lawyers are liars and they defend criminals. But I got 29 points in Grade 12 so I could not qualify and I had to go for second choice so that I can change in my second year. Politics took over.
12.Weave or Natural?
Absolutely natural! I hate weaves. Girls who are natural, not just in terms of hair but the thinking, philosophy, outlook in life are just …! Hair is just one of the physical manifestations of consciousness. Weaves have no place. In fact, if I had money, I would call for a meeting where every girl who burns their weave gets like a N$1000. But I’m saying natural not just in terms of hair, but I take it as an original understanding of the self. Like I’m black and I come from this environment.
No, but I intend to have many. I intend to have a minimum of 10. So it means I will probably be producing even when I am 90. My kids already have names even before they are born. I’m convinced that my first child will be a boy and his name will be Sankara Shipululo Amupanda. And all my children will have their name as ….. Shipululo Amupanda.
14.One thing I know for sure?
I know that I will always be one of those who will stand up when there is a need to give direction to society. I hate weak people – emptiests and sleepists. I dislike stagnation so I know that I will always stand up.
15.If I put you in a kitchen now, what will you cook?
Laughs! You see, there are people who are ashamed to say that they cannot cook. I am not the best cook. But I know for sure that if I am left home alone, I will not starve. My sisters love me and they take care of me.