Dirt and misery

27 August 2020 | Opinion

Each day the majority of young people watch the sunrise with empty bellies. In many informal areas, they live on top of one another. Crime is rife.

They make their way home hastily when darkness falls. They read stories of millionaires with envy. They watch as tender-feeders, fattened by their pre-Covid loot, chop their money in the open, driving flashy cars and living in massive houses, while decorating their arms with eye-candy.

Some manage to rise above their station. Others look deeply into the eyes of political leaders, praising them as the next saviour, the one who will make everything right and bring fortune and prosperity. Young people are tormented in their dreams by a legacy they barely understand. Even while the elders, to some degree, still contextualise the situation through the lens of the liberation struggle, the youth know nothing more than what greets them as they step out of their shacks each morning. The only context they see is that they are living in dirt and misery. They cannot feast on the achievement of freedom or honouring heroes, because as Bob Marley sang: “A hungry man is an angry man.”

For many it is good to remember the past. Namibia has one and the baggage still lingers heavy. But as the youth stroll down dusty Namibian streets to a diet of emptiness and despair, the glory days of liberation must seem a million years away.

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