“Education is the key to success/ No education, no development/ Come to school to find more, to read and write/ what is education?/ education is the future.”
My fellow young Namibian people do you remember this anthem from primary school? How we would sing it joyously at the top of our lungs and wish every moment that time would just fly by so we would finish our studies and become ‘successful’. Looking back to those childhood days I can’t help but wonder, what if you were one of the 67,000 unemployed graduates from last year and you hear children singing this song as you pass by a primary school?
I don’t know about you but I would be tempted to walk to them and tell them the truth. It’s only fair that they know what to expect rather than just grow up and finish with their studies just to find themselves broke, miserable and jobless like us. I would walk to them and tell them, “No, my littles ones education might be the key…but not in Namibia. Here corruption is key. You just need to get yourself a seat in the parliament and then climb all the way up the ladder till you’re a minister, a fisheries minister to be specific, and then you start accepting fishy bribes!”
This advice would be uncalled for, but it is the truth. Namibia’s downfall has reached rock bottom. Highest levels of corruption and lowest level of youth employment. This hurts, but do you know what hurts more? The president turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all this. It’s saddening. It is even more dismaying to think about the 67,000 youths who graduated last year but couldn’t find jobs. Growing up we were always told ‘Education is the key’, so we studied our heads off till we were on the verge of insanity. And for what? When we get our degrees we realise that all the studying wasn’t worth it because we are left unemployed.
A lot of people are frustrated, young people to be specific. All over social media we see young people with Dr Itula marching and saying they want change. Most people labelled Itula as someone who was only there to make the campaign tough for Geingob. This might be true, but him campaigning as an independent candidate was more than that. Itula is what happens when there is too much corruption and disorder in the country that people are urged to want to lead the country down the rightful path. This is why a lot of people were for him, and are still for him even though the election results were not in his favour.
What I find controversial is how most young people want Itula while older people do not want to let go of Geingob. While scrolling down The Namibian website, I couldn’t help but notice an article titled Pensioners applaud Geingob on ‘caring leadership’.
Notice how “caring leadership’ is in quotation? This is because Geingob’s care is partial. He is mostly focusing on the increment in pension funds and the food bank giving out food to the elderly. And that is not a bad thing, but it is telling. Of course the elderly will see him as their superman because he is increasing their benefits. But what about us, the youth? What benefits are we getting from Geingob’s governance?
As a concerned member of the Namibian youth, I cannot fathom what type of governance Geingob is trying to bring forth. The young people, who are the future of the country are left out in most of his plans. I am not saying he should abandon the elders but he must emphasize both groups.
Let us look back to the times before Geingob came into power, under Nujoma and Pohamba’s governance. I won’t say that things were perfect for the youth, but from what I have been told by those who were youth during those times, at least the complaints were not as dire as the ones we have today. When addressed about issues on delayed tuition fees, Geingob said our parents should pay for us. This is heart-breaking for us to hear him say this because we feel neglected. Who said our parents can afford to pay that money? And yet, the president assumes it.
The scramble for jobs and extreme anger of the youth towards the government calls for change. We need change now more than ever. Wake up my fellow Namibian youth, the satisfaction of the elderly and dissatisfaction of us, the majority, as the youth is a wakeup call. Geingob should also adhere to our needs because we are the country’s future.