• September 24th, 2018
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The Namibian youth and their elders are disconnected

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The youth of yesteryears prior to our independence had a very strong mission and with that in mind stood firm against all odds to liberate Namibia from the yoke of colonialism and apartheid. This generation of young men and women were highly united, sensibly focused and determined to ensure that Namibia becomes a free nation determining its own sovereign destiny. This noble goal was indeed remarkable albeit at a very high cost of sacrifice. And despite operating in an environment of minimal technological advancement, in areas of mobile communication, the Internet and social networks, this generation of liberators worked extremely well together, efficiently and effectively as a unit to outmanoeuvre the enemy. This is certainly highly commendable and those in the pre-independence generations who occupied positions of leadership, or were on the battlefield, need to share their stories to encourage and motivate the new breed of young people on the preservation of national unity, peace and forging a greater sense of purpose. While today’s elders have certainly done well for the country they have failed badly to use the same methodology of hard work and a sense of unity that they used among themselves to liberate this country to rally the post-independence generation of young and untested economic and social warriors. As a consequence of that a society of high poverty levels, destitution and dependency has emerged across all corners of the country. Hence these two sets of generations need an independent observation and assessment to determine the root cause of this disconnection and to perhaps make amend to get back on track for the sake of national unity and a greater sense of purpose for the benefit of the current and future generations.    Yes, the elders can and should be applauded for investing heavily in the education of the nation, in the provision of affordable health care for the masses and in the maintenance of peace and stability. But the economic and social realities on the ground speaks otherwise of a despondent generation, of young dispersed souls with no national sense of pride, and no sense of unity or purpose. This extremely bad and terrible situation, in my humble but patriotic opinion, is as a result of the high neglect of the elders of their responsibility to ensure that the youth are well prepared with the same ethos to wage the economic struggle to its logical conclusion of equity, progress and prosperity for all. It is because of this, I believe, the Namibian youth, as a generation, have no central belief system or structure and as such operate as single entities that can be blown away by the slightest wind. This is contributing further to the erosion of the principles of the liberation struggle and the intended visions of what is to be the country’s economic and social fibres. The majority of the Namibian population is the youth and as an ageing generation, society has failed to nurture them as a unit to embrace nationalism and a sense of national pride thus creating a totally lost generation. Whilst not easily acknowledged nor spoken about, tribalism, racism and hatred are still present among the populace and if not discouraged would further disperse the youth. On the economic front, the Namibian youth are extremely neglected by the system, which is controlled by the elders. This oversight has cemented a society that favours the previously advantaged members of our society and foreign business entities such as the Chinese and others at the expense of our youth. This sad economic reality has denied the distribution of economic wealth into the hands of the Namibian youth. On the political front, despite youth constituting the majority of the population, they are sidelined from key political positions. At 27 years after independence the ageing elders are still managing the government key ministries and agencies. This sad scenario has caused an extremely slow progression in the career advancement of many young and abled members of the society. In the above regard, the disconnection between the elders and the youth is a very serious matter that needs to be addressed as if continued to be left to chance will expose the nation to all kinds of elements and illnesses. The elders have for their own selfish reasons withdrawn on this responsibility but however need to going forward to afford the youth as a generation to take on roles of greater responsibilities to learn and grow. The gap between the Namibian youth and their elders is just too wide and needs to be narrowed down soonest without further delay for the sake of peace and progress.     *Pendapala Hangala is a Namibian Socio-Economist
2017-10-06 10:08:45 11 months ago
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