In an extraordinary move, the President of the Republic, His Excellency President H L Pohamba, took issue with young people at the opening of a Swapo branch office at Ohalushu some weeks ago.
It was reported that the President told those in attendance of the opening event that the older generation owns the revolution and not the youth who just talk and talk. It is said that the President was concerned about the perceived state of affairs where young people are stealing the limelight from the elders who own the revolution.
I will not dwell on the semantics of a revolution vis-à-vis revolutionaries for that is another discourse altogether. It is indeed poignant that our President is concerned about lime-lights and accidental issues thereto.
It is depressing that between the limelight and Tipeeg failure, the Head of State chose the former – the same with Cabinet discourses that take place in public. This ought to concern our kind President, not the theft of the limelight by the youth.
Those who monitor the discourses of the youth, to report to elders, label them as reactionary when all the youth want is the best for their people and country; go ahead and say that I do not have respect and all that gobbledygook. That is what you are good for, you contribute nothing to this country apart from monitoring, purging and hushing debates of the young. After all, it is how you butter your bread and how you seek to gain favours and appointments to elevated positions in the state that matters.
They see themselves as more loyal than others while their only concern is the comfort and the trust of those who butter their bread.
In such depressing state of affairs, we find comfort in the fact that there are principled sons and daughters of the soil, like the author who would never surrender to opportunism and patronage “for as long as you are diplomatic in approach and follow the system – reward is automatic.” These are loyal virtues in regard to the principles of our nation; social justice being primary and will continue demanding radical political, economic and social transformation for the progress of this nation, whether it places the old, middle or young in discomfort.
The author of this formulation is in solidarity and agreement with such men and women of this nation. He is committed to the struggle for economic liberty that will deliver a tough Namibia – a Namibia that shall not equivocate – a Namibia that shall not compromise. As such, there shall be no concern with the status quo of celebrating moral defectors.
Indeed, those who celebrate stagnation and mediocrity, for rewards from the State, define themselves as adversaries opposed to our collective interest as a people in general and as a generation in particular.
Let’s return to the story of Ohalushu. As expected, that leadership decree was met with applause from those who profit from the current food chain in the State. Remember that many principals of the State attended that gathering.
In the week that followed, the media amplified it to national importance. Media in Namibia, especially State-owned, are loyal to the old and foes of the youth. None, amongst those commenting on this ignominy, had the intellectual judicious to ‘problematise’ the fact that ‘he with higher power’ was located, in this debate, operating at low politics.
It can be understood if the old artists, as is the case, complain about the limelight stolen by the rookies in the music industry. For the State President, it is paradoxical. The President must never be uncomfortable and concerned with lime-lights, especially with young people. If a certain youth thinks that the President was referring to them, such youth ego is boosted and will indeed celebrate the achievement of capturing the attention of the number-one man in the State.
Fifty-one point two percent joblessness and hopelessness; knee-jerk Tipeeg lacking confidence of the Premier; slow economic growth; un-executive Cabinet members; looming floods; thugs in charge of State machineries and related issues must concern the man-of-high-status.
“The youth needs to be put in their place”, some of you may validate yet it is the elders who shaped these youth in the first place. Children are a products of society; if the society is in need of revolutionaries and yearn for a revolution, then such sentiments will manifest in society, as it did.
If there is progress deficit in a nation, public discourse will reflect that – the same when there is progress. Blaming and threatening youth with the ‘Malema fate’ does nothing but deliver generational antagonism.
Those with sharp intellect will clearly see that the elders of the people’s organisation failed in stewardship development and in the task of channeling the energy of the youth. As a result, they perceive sending the youth into political wilderness as a solution.
Now more than ever, the youth will organise and form an interest block both within and outside the South West Africa People Organisation. We may witness generational solidarity from the youth. We may witness the beginning of “those who own the revolution must vote for each other.”
The elders will want to maintain their grip to power while the youth will seek a change of guard. As PDK sings, “If it is not today, then it’s gotta be tomorrow”.
What is clear is that the elders may not win this generational interest battle; who owns the revolution is immaterial.
Till second half – hear and be heard