President Hage Geingob’s latest appointee to the National Assembly, Patience Masua, says she is ready for the opportunities and challenges that parliament brings.
At 22, Masua becomes the youngest parliamentarian. “I find this to be a major win, but I understand the frustration and why people may be unhappy, sad or upset because people feel that a 22-year-old cannot deliver. I am up for the challenge and ready,” Masua, who takes the place of former defence minister Peter Vilho, told New Era yesterday.
“I have diligently served in all the structures that I have been in. Change is hard, and has to be deliberate.” The former Namibia National Students Organisation secretary general and Gobabis-born youthful firebrand maintained she was not plucked from obscurity, adding her track record is there for all to see.
“It is not common that a 22-year-old gets appointed to parliament, but common that a 22-year-old can make an impact in the way my track record shows,” she said.
Masua, a law graduate from the University of Namibia, said there was already a massive weight of expectation on her shoulders, simply by being a young MP. “The representation in itself is already massive, but it means nothing if there is no impact, and it should come from leaving a mark and showing that there was a reason why the President made this appointment, and specifically someone who is a youth,” added Masua. “It is one thing to have youth issues raised by people who are not the youth, but it is another thing for the youth to be part and parcel of that process as the direct people affected.” Masua is not the only youthful person in the current National Assembly. Deputy information minister Emma Theofelus, Inna Hengari of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Utaara Mootu of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) are among the other young leaders in parliament. Masua further promised to speak for the unemployed, as well as contribute to a better education system. “How do we make a post-Covid-19 economic ecosystem that can sustainably promote employment? Looking at issues of reassessing our university curricula to see if those curricula match a post-Covid-19 society, is the output we are creating as universities feeding the type of employment that we want?” she asked. The avid student activist said there is an issue of an overproduction of graduates who need interventions as there is a mismatch of graduates and the employment that needs to be created. “We should be championing those issues from a more social perspective, women and girls’ issues, and marginalised communities that continue to suffer,” said Masua.