While the anti-colonial struggle was hard and dangerous, and the icons of the liberation struggle faced a formidable apartheid South African military power, it’s also true that the Namibian struggle icons of the anti-colonial era are going, and gone with their valuable skills and knowledge of the liberation struggle and nation-building.
Namibian icons of the anti-colonial era are departing from this world with no replacement at all. Naturally, they may not be replaced, but the ideals they stood and died for are worthy to be preserved. Yes, Herman Toivo, Hagane Katjipuka, Dimo Hamaambo, Theo-Ben Gurirab, the list is endless, worked in a challenging environment where there was more clarity: The apartheid South African colonial oppressors had to go.
The next thing was nation-building. That a triumphant Swapo would take over, give the country back to the people, and invest in their development. That is exactly what the governing Swapo Party has achieved, among others.
Nevertheless, this article is concerned with no or lack of recorded history on the heroics of the anti-colonial leaders of the liberation struggle and their contribution to nation-building. Moreover, how the young generation should desirously sustain the gains of our independence, in the face of the demise of the stalwarts of the anti-colonial liberation struggle.
The missing puzzle is the role being played by the youth, especially those in the Swapo Party, to ensure that these giants of our liberation struggle, though gone, what they stood for will forever be preserved for many generations to come. The youth are not adequately prepared to take the mantle from the ageing national leadership. It is profoundly up to the youth to find time to probe the old generation of the Swapo leaders and record their experiences of the anti-colonial liberation war that brought independence.
Acquiring of such knowledge will greatly help the youth to value the peace and stability prevailing in the country and thus take Namibia to the next level of development. Similarly, there is an urgent need for the youth to be rigorously prepared to take over the revolutionary touch that has sustained Swapo over the years and brought political independence, nation-building and development. The Swapo Party School is doing commendable work thus far.
It is no secret that some former African liberation movements that became governing parties have disappeared, weakened or become irrelevant because the youth of these political movements were not educated enough in the ideology of their parties. It is argued here that the ideology of Swapo, as a liberation movement, was scientific socialism.
This ideology formed a strong foundation for the success of the armed liberation struggle that was spearheaded by the Peoples’ Liberation Army of Namibia, (PLAN), the former military wing of Swapo. It also gave the Swapo movement the direction of what we were fighting for during the liberation struggle.
For example, Swapo’s political programme adopted in 1976 outlined the present and future tasks and defined the general political goals of the movement as: the liberation and winning of independence for the people of Namibia and the establishment of democratic people’s government; the realization of genuine and total independence of Namibia in the spheres of politics, economy, defence, social and cultural affairs. Moreover, Swapo had the strategy to achieve these political goals, such as: to persistently mobilise and organize the broad masses of the Namibian people so that they can actively participate in the national liberation struggle; to mold and heighten, in the thick of the national liberation struggle, the bond of national and political consciousness amongst the Namibian people; to combat all manifestations and tendencies of tribalism, regionalism, ethnic orientation and racial discrimination; to unite all Namibian people, particularly the working class, the peasantry and progressive intellectuals into a vanguard party capable of safeguarding national independence and of building a classless, non-exploitative society based on the ideals and principles of scientific socialism.
It is with the above in mind that the youth should comprehend these ideals, of course with the help of seasoned leaders of the Swapo Party who are still alive, or else these principles which are still relevant today, may be lost with the old generation. The main burden facing the youth, in the face of the natural attrition of the icons of the anti-colonial era, is their inability to understand or assimilate these ideals that are essential for peace, stability and nation-building.
The author writes in his private capacity as a Namibian citizen. New Era Reporter
2018-07-27 09:26:28 | 2 years ago