Young activists under the banner of the #ShutItAllDown movement have expressed joy at winning the Silencing Gender-Based Violence Award, which is an initiative of the African Union youth envoy’s office.
The continental awards were created to celebrate, recognise and support young Africans behind impactful peacebuilding initiatives.
The movement also received $5 000 grant (equivalent to N$73 450).
One of the activists behind the movement, Ndiilo Nthengwe, said the award proves that young people should not be seen as passive voiceless victims but active, responsive agents, capable of effecting change through their action.
“We don’t have voiceless people; only systems that intentionally and unabashedly silence. This award has shown that what we have done has not been in vain,” she said.
The movement led anti-femicide and sexual gender-based violence protests across the country last year following a spate of rape, murder and other gruesome crimes, particularly against women and children.
“This award is for all young Namibians and everybody who went out in the sun and protested against SGBV,” said another local activist Bertha Tobias.
She said the team is currently organising and strategising on more creative and dynamic ways to enhance their activism to make it more sustainable and impactful.