HISTORY Tells us that many old guards- also known as the Tanganyikas- that we are embracing today as our heroes and heroines stood up, united in their youthful years to fight and liberate this country. They faced the enemy and overcame all the ‘divide and rule tactics’. Of course in every course there would be sellouts and those who betray their generation but the spirit of unity amongst this generation has been magnificent even after they liberated the country.
The Namibian contemporary youth ought to emulate this in taking up the economic struggle seriously. But instead they are fighting each other. They are divided over who is supporting which old guard and who is disturbing peace and stability. They are worshiping the old guards and allowing themselves to be used as weapons of mass destruction to terminate and rescind any of their fellow youth that stands up to address valuable issues relevant to their wellbeing and that of the future generation.
Oh yes, there are two aspects into which the Namibian contemporary youth work so closely and peacefully.
The very first one is alcohol (and drugs).The growing proliferation of alcoholic drinks (and illegal drugs) has led many young people down a losing path. It is difficult to find a Tanganyika group member at a shebeen all drunk and debating about who has a lot of money in Namibia and why Wenger is not buying a more prolific striker. Mind you most of these shebeens are owned by the Tanganyika oldies. The second one is sex. Unlike in previous generations, sex and sexual issues are openly being discussed and practiced these days even in the open by the youth. One elderly even joked that if you want get the attention of the contemporary youth to listen to you just shouts “Sex! Sex!” you will not struggle.
In this regard, unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions, baby dumping and single parenthood are some of the growing social concerns that contemporary youth in Namibia has had to deal with. The negative impacts of single youth parenthood cannot be emphasised: With only one (in most cases unemployed mother) parent available to look after the child, mothers resort to seeking emotional and material support from other men including the Tanganyika lads in the form of ‘blessers’. This exposes them to even worse variety of risks such as HIV/ AIDS, passion killing and more unwanted pregnancies. Little do they know is that the social issues they are engaging in today can have significant effects not only on them when they eventually grow old but also on their children’s children. If the youth gets united, begin to cooperate, they will culminate into agents of change in our beautiful country. They will graduate into subjects of positive actions and not objects to be contained or manipulated. They will be respected and listened to by the ‘elders’ and get a place at the table where they will be fully engaged in economic, social development and building effective, inclusive and youth friendly institutions. They will not be fired after every single public truthful remark.
Julius Homateni Lukas is a lecturer at the University of Namibia and ideas expressed in this article are solely his.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015