By: Sarah Anghuwo
“The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”- Marcus Garvey
As a youth, we adhere to the principle that capable leaders are chosen by the people, for the people.
We take these words seriously, recognising that if the youth are dissatisfied with outcomes, they tend to hold the government accountable for any discrepancies.
However, it’s important for us, as young individuals, to strike a balance between expressing our concerns about contemporary challenges and maintaining a constructive perspective.
We must acknowledge that those in power possess valuable wisdom and experience, even though their decisions aren’t infallible. When we, the youth, step forward, it’s imperative to engage our critical thinking abilities to develop pragmatic solutions for issues affecting the majority.
Regrettably, this process often encounters obstacles due to differing cultural beliefs and values. This ongoing clash of cultural heritage has persisted for some time, leading some to believe their cultural stance is superior to others.
This rift inhibits us from collectively addressing these concerns and, at times, compels us to forsake our own artistic and cultural heritage in favour of adopting foreign traditions.
As the youth, we stand at a crossroads. Do we forsake our artistic and cultural roots, surrendering to foreign traditions in the name of fleeting enjoyment?
This has led to a dearth of understanding about our national identity symbolised by the Namibian flag and various dynamic approaches to our rich Namibian cultures. Our government shoulders blame often unfairly as they struggle to address core issues, hindered by our own ignorance of cultural intricacies.
This artistic predicament extends to a stark reality – numerous Namibian regions lack the opportunities afforded to selected areas perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
The Namibia Statistics Agency’s 2021 report revealed that 43% of the population experiences multidimensional poverty, with the poorest regions being Kavango West (80%), Kavango East (70%), and Kunene (64%). The onus falls upon us to rectify this imbalance.
Artistically vibrant regions such as Kavango West, Kavango East, and Kunene are overlooked as potential tourist magnets due to our skewed perceptions.
We often wrongly associate artistic tourism solely with Khomas, Erongo regions and sometimes ||Kharas region. This blinkered viewpoint curbs progress and perpetuates divisions. We, the youth cannot merely demand our rights while shrinking our responsibilities as future leaders.
We are a generation at a crossroads. Our current focus is on materialism, and instant gratification threatens our moral compass. Manipulation and corruption seep into our actions blurring our values.
We’ve forgotten the weight of true leadership and are tempted to bend to political affiliations for personal gain. It’s a wake-up call; we must bridge this gap. If we neglect our responsibilities today, we’re bound to fail the maxim we hold dear.
Let us redefine our narrative, grounded in responsibility, knowledge, and cultural reverence, for accountability lies with us – the architects of tomorrow – who must anchor ourselves in our heritage.
Sarah Anghuwo is an Art Advocate and B.PM Student