Earlier in the year at our independence celebrations, our guest Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya commended us on how far we have come as a country and how much our economy has grown and advanced. Very kind words from a foreign leader.
In spite of our current economic woes, he wasn’t wrong. We did, in fact, make great progress since we started to govern ourselves and that in itself deserves its legit praise. The majority of the youth, especially the older ones, have lived through the most prosperous era of post-independence Namibia, something we haven’t been experiencing in the last few years.
The last few years have seen all the great work done in the country in the past few decades slowly starting to regress to an unfavourable situation. The honey money phase is reaching its end, the youth that were around at the commencement of post-independence Namibia are reaching maturity and the time for a new direction has come.
There are those that greatly benefitted from the time when economic policies and schemes, seemed to be thought out and directed to benefit everyone especially the youth, but it seems the government got tired of a winning strategy and seems to be backsliding and letting down a whole generation, which now really seems to be invested in its well-being, safety and future.
The youth are watching closely what is happening in the country and not just what is being reported in the media, but also what is happening on the ground. The reality we live in.
Things are clearly not the same as before and as it has been reported, our country is in recession. We are backsliding into the negative. The youth are the ones most affected, from unemployment to education right up to crime. The backslide is being absorbed heavily by the youth.
Nothing should be taken away from the government though – as mentioned earlier, they have done a tremendous service to our country and their work, which is now our foundation, is ultimately serving us well now. That work shouldn’t be a full stop, it never ends, for as long there are people in the country, that work should continue.
We understand that not everything is always the result of what is happening in boardrooms – some things are just out of our control, but that’s just life; we can only react to it and hope for the best.
Don’t get complacent!
*Olavi Popyeinawa has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia. He writes on youth matters. Find him on Instagram: olavi_popyeinawa, Facebook: Olavi Popyeinawa and Twitter: @ OlaviPopyeinawa