Ewan Orlam is a first-year law student at the University of Namibia. Coming from a needy home, he never allowed his situation to determine his future. “This young man comes from an underprivileged household, not a poor one because being underprivileged is economical,” said Orlam, referring to himself.
He further stated that one can be underprivileged but rich in love. Rich in hope, faith, kindness and peace. “But being poor is a disabling frame of mind and a depressed situation of your spirit,” he pointed out.
Orlam was speaking at an auspicious occasion in honour of learners in the Talent Individual Programme (TIP), a project which was launched by the First Lady Monica Geingos in 2016 under the education pillar of the One Economy Foundation at the Franco Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) in Windhoek.
Orlam was one of the beneficiaries of the programme. He had to study in the bathtub, as it was a quiet place to concentrate.
“When the results came out, he was the only learner in his region to have scored nine straight A’s that year. That young man is me and that could be you if you choose to use unpleasant circumstances to propel you forward,” he said in his motivational speech.
Orlam told the First Lady and fellow students gathered at the award ceremony that there are elements which accounted for his achievement.
“Know, understand and accept that the world owes you nothing. Therefore, fight for you. Love yourself. Stop blaming your parents. Stop accusing your teachers,” advised Orlam, alerting his peers to take responsibility for their actions.
“Tell yourself that the reason why you are not top performing is that you don’t do your homework. Tell yourself it’s your fault for not studying hard and stop walking around like you are a mistake,” he calmly exclaimed.
The First Lady touched on issues children have been going through since the start of the One Economy Foundation under her office. She said education is not enough and as a matter of fact, it takes more than money to educate a child. “Children need a sense of protection, love, identity and a sense of belonging,” she said.