NKURENKURU - The tribal head of the Ukwangali Traditiona Authority, Hompa Eugene Siwombe Kudumo says as traditional leaders, they have high expectations on university graduates as they are very important people for developing any given community.
Hompa Kudumo who was speaking at the official opening of the academic year at the International University of Management (IUM) Nkurenkuru said university graduates become key assets and economic engines that drives different economic activities in different communities where they are from.
“I took up the invitation to come to this event wholeheartedly as I see it as an opportunity to engage with students who will eventually become adults in the community that we live as Hompas and so on,” stated the Ukwangali chief.
“As traditional leaders, we have high expectations on products from the universities, university graduates are very important people in any given community as they become key assets, you are already very important people in your community,” he added.
The Hompa encouraged the students to avoid negative peer pressure and focus on their studies to later become people that the communities can rely on. “Firstly ,I am looking at you as economic engines in your communities in the next three or four years after your studies, I must warn you that unemployment is very high in Namibia, however, I hope that you will take this opportunity at the university to acquire skills to compete in increasing global work places and also become major employers yourself,” he said.
Hompa Kudumo told the students that he along with other traditional leaders are expecting them to provide communities with innovative business ideas that will grow these communities. “You cannot spend four years studying business to go and open a shebeen, we have enough of those at every village and our experiences have shown us that it is not taking this country anywhere, we need something better from you, we need community income generating projects that will not only create employment but brings food to the houses of the needy as well,” he noted.
“Secondly, it is common that university students and graduates help address societal challenges, I don’t expect university students to join the quarrels and complaining about challenges in our communities, you must provide academic analysis, for example you must research on the causes of alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy amongst teenagers and why they do not respect culture,” he further stated.
Hompa Kudumo further noted the traditional leaders could depend on assessments from scholars to help them on how to address the challenges that their subjects face. He urged them to do research on issues affecting different communities and provide them with findings, and recommendations.
“We have a very flexible leadership approach and we accommodate constructive ideas from our youths and academics in formulating our laws. Thirdly, our expectations at the traditional authority is that university students and graduates promotes critical thinking and open debate, I don’t claim to be a critical thinker but I expect university students and graduates to become critical thinkers, it is common this days that critical thinking is shown through criticising others, I don’t think it is right, this is what one could refer to as blind criticism which is about finding wrong in anything you see or hear and it is mostly directed to a person instead of criticising an issue and it is sometimes driven by emotions,” he noted.
“However, I want you students and staff members of this university to promote a culture of constructive criticism in your community. You should lead by example by criticising and providing facts, evidence as well as alternatives. Use the opportunity now at the university to sharpen your skills. We want issues discussed or debated with reference or evidence, give alternatives on how to solve problems, take a lead by showing this in your communities,” he continued. Kudumo also reminded the students that as Africans, some of the challenges at hand are that our history is mostly still oral and needs to be researched further and recorded.