SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURS TO start or grow their businesses and create wealth and jobs in their communities has resulted in many hours spent on the road criss-crossing Namibia.
En route to or from one’s destination one encounters dozens of minibuses and seven-seaters with youngsters in their twenties behind the steering wheel.
With the vehicles packed, and drivers driving at high speed and recklessly, one is often left wondering if the passengers realise they are gambling with their lives.
But then again, most Namibians really have no alternative.
The driving is no better in Windhoek, and not only public transport commuters are at risk.
The impunity with which taxi drivers jump traffic lights, disobey road rules, and disregard the safety of others makes travelling to and from work a safety gamble for motorists and pedestrians.
One can only hope that traffic law enforcers in urban areas and on the open roads would become more visible throughout the year, and not only over the festive season and public holidays.
Gambling, dreaming of financial windfalls, and betting are known to predate the birth of Christ.
Gambling has been part and parcel of life since time immemorial. Researchers say it goes back to the Stone Age – over three million years ago.
Gambling in those early days reportedly involved people or animals fighting each other, with gamblers betting on the outcome of such battles.
But humans have become more sophisticated and less bloodthirsty, so gambling has progressed to card games, dominoes, throwing dice, picking lucky numbers, lottos, and other forms of betting.
History records that the first casino opened in Venice in 1638.
Nowadays casinos can be found in most countries of the world – even here in Namibia, and no longer just at tourist resorts and luxury hotels, but in the business centre of most towns.
Gambling taxes provide a guaranteed revenue stream for the fiscus.
Casinos are even online, making it convenient for hardy gamblers when dreaming of riches to take a break from work and play.
Virtual casinos, bookies and other forms of betting are available 24/7 across the world.
It no longer matters where you live, provided there is money, you can take a flutter from even the most remote location.
Insomnia sufferers can spend their sleepless nights dreaming of riches and gamble themselves into a slumber.
Judging from the ever-increasing number of adverts in the print and electronic media, gambling must be an attractive new source of revenue for them.
Surprisingly, a gambler even made front-page news recently after scoring big time in a sport bet.
Although the article said the ‘winner’ is a longstanding regular gambler, there was no mention of how much money he has lost over the years.
One could probably wager a bet that it was far more than the ‘winner’ cares to admit.
Dreaming of riches and a better life ahead?
Then cultivate a savings habit.
And do so from a young age, heeding the advice proffered at a recent conference of a financial services group: Time is your friend and inflation your enemy.
Gambling is for suckers.
Better one learn that sooner rather than later.
* Danny Meyer is reachable at [email protected]