A shining light for youth

10 May 2019 | Politics

By DR ELIJAH NGURARE

On 12 May 2019, Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma will be 90 years old.

This milestone of his life will fittingly be celebrated at his birthplace at Etunda village in the Ongandjera district of the Omusati Region.

It will, undoubtedly, be a special day to him and to his beloved family.

It is remarkable that this greatest African statesman decided to celebrate his 90th birthday in the place of his humble beginnings.

I see this as a very significant and worthwhile lesson to be emulated by the present and future generations of Namibians, and indeed Africans.

It is possible for every African family to have a child with the qualities of Sam Nujoma.

It has been said that a good tree produces good fruit.

It means, however, that such a tree must be nurtured properly. In order for Namibia to raise children with qualities of Sam Nujoma, it would require proper nurturing.

This must include tapping into the wisdom of exemplary elders in our own families, in our own villages and in our own regions.

Sam Nujoma has the character traits of humility, tenacity, fearlessness, steadfastness, hard work, patriotism, dedication and commitment, as well as respect for cultural values, which he has always been willing to share with young people.

He has done so during the liberation struggle and over the past 29 years of an independent Namibia.

As the adage says: It takes a village to raise a child. Sam Nujoma is a product of the village upbringing in his generation.

The lessons to be derived from the life of Sam Nujoma therefore requires a society moulded together to impart moral values to our young people.

This teaching requires the participation of all stakeholders.

In my view, it is the duty of society, inclusive of all institutions in it, such as NBC, MTC, One Africa Television, MultiChoice Namibia, Telecom and modern media platforms to teach and inculcate good values in our children.

Of what use is it that children watch cartoons that don’t resemble them or listen to music that has no relevance to them, or watch movies that are designed to denigrate the humanity of an African person.

Why can’t the visual and audio media outlets be a modern fireplace for good and patriotic values to be instilled in our children and youth?

I believe, for Sam Nujoma, this 90th birthday is therefore a manifestation of a life well-lived and a dream fulfilled - namely a free and independent Namibia! Sam Nujoma, in this respect, espouses the ideology and legacy of self-reliance and uncompromising patriotism, which should be told around fires all over Namibia and on all media platforms, including in books. It is well-known that he led the liberation struggle with all its difficulties.

He founded the Republic of Namibia with all its challenges, but never gave up.

As Namibia’s first black president, Sam Nujoma was dedicated and committed to nation-building through prioritising education and health.

The University of Namibia (Unam) was founded, and its expansion to include faculties of engineering and medicine, etc. are mostly due to his visionary leadership and patriotic vision. In fact, he went back to school after leaving office and completed his master’s degree in geology.

To the young people of Namibia, wherever you are on 12 May 2019, take a moment to reflect on what possible lessons you can learn from the 90 years of Sam Nujoma’s exemplary life.

He grew up just like many of you. He decided to live a life free from alcohol or drug abuse.

He decided to respect women and condemn gender-based violence all his life. He challenged injustice.

He took unpopular decisions during his youth and never compromised his principles.

He had a vision of a free Namibia and never wavered pursuing its attainment.

He worked together with his fellow young people of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s for political independence.

You, the young people of the 1980s, the 1990s and of the 2000s, must also fuse together for this more difficult struggle of economic independence and economic self-reliance.

This is the message we should take all over Namibia as a lesson from Sam Nujoma’s 90th birthday.

Inspired by the energy of Sam Nujoma, you should patriotically unite as Africans and as Namibians every day.

Shun the retrogressive vices of tribalism, sexism, ethnicity, corruption, racism and in all 121 constituencies of Namibia. Be advocates of social justice and nation-building, without fail.

At all material times, remain focused and dedicated to a united Namibia that has its own skilled workforce and adequately qualified patriots in all fields of human development.

In the final analysis it is no longer the generation of Sam Nujoma that want to live 90 more years. It is you, the young people of Namibia and Africa. May God bless you with long life, so you reach the age of 90 years and beyond! I pray that each of you will become a Sam Nujoma in your family, village, region, country and continent.