THERE is a misconception boiling in African politics that young people are not ready for the political game – the question on my lips is, when is the right time to join politics?
At the moment, even in Namibia, we see how the old guard and the aspiring young politicians are at loggerheads because of clashing ideologies on how the country should be governed.
It is a fact that the old guard has more knowledge, practical knowledge, than the youth on how to run a country, subsequently the youth, due to their privilege of having grown up in an independent Namibia, have more theoretical knowledge. An integration of the two is a recipe for success - needed by both to gain maximum results.
As a young man myself, I totally understand that our Tatekulus from the much-vaunted ‘Tanganyika Group’ and those that fought tirelessly and mercilessly in one or another way sacrificed their lives so that we can today sit around a table and guzzle a few beers without any fear – but with due respect, their sacrifice is not a licence to oppress the youth when it comes to decision-making.
Twenty-two years after independence, with the prevalence of peace and solidarity, the time has come when the elders such as the Nahas Angulas, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithanas, Nangolo Mbumba’s, Hage Geingob’s and the many others that I won’t finish mentioning, come up with plans on how to successfully integrate the youth into the political sphere to ensure continuation once they go on retirement.
It’s not a secret that most of our leaders are fast approaching the golden years of their lives, therefore it is only fair that they start grooming Namibia’s next political generation to steer the country’s development ship successfully towards Vision 2030 and beyond.
The youth make up more than half of Namibia’s 2,1 million population, and all we want is for our Tatekulus and Meekulus to sit on their lawns at their respective homes one day, knowing the country is in the right hands – instead of transforming the National Assembly into an old-age home where they can tjaila.
The battle for political supremacy between the old and the youth does more harm than good to the country, hence, joining hands will be the wisest move.
You can only teach a dog how to sit while it is a puppy, therefore there is an urgent need for our elders to permit the youth to have input into political discussions and decision-making processes of the land of the brave.
From a political perspective, this will help them understand that problems of politics, especially governing a country, is a complex task that need neutral guidance to understand how political decisions have an impact on the lives of a country’s citizens.
The youth must learn now while the wisdom is available, but the question is – are our elders ready to meet us halfway?