By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK The Namibian youth must see independence as an instrument through which they can change their lives for the better, and not abuse the freedom. As multitudes gathered at the independence arena yesterday to celebrate the country’s 16th Independence anniversary, some young people took time to share with New Era how significant this day is to them. Christiaan Petrus, a young man in his twenties says Namibian heroes and heroines fought hard to bring about the freedom that is enjoyed by the country today but surprisingly, not every young person seems to appreciate freedom. Evident, he says, is the crime that is committed by the youths on a daily basis. “Just recently, there is a man in the North who beat up his mother and another one hurt his mother with a panga over N$100. This is not good because people who are independent behave in a good way,” he said. According to Petrus, on Independence Day the youths must take time and attend events organised for the day in order for them to listen to the leaders on how far they have gone with developmental issues and see how they (youths) can contribute to make Namibia a better country than it is today. “We want peace to continue, the youths should start behaving.” Sharing the same sentiments as Petrus, Katrina Rooinasie who has been at almost every big independence gathering stated, “I like this day because it makes me feel the spirit of independence.” Though she did not partake in the fight for liberation, she told New Era that the people who died sacrificed for the then future generations of this country, and as such, the least one can do is be part of the celebrations and reflect on what happened. Proudly, she stated, “I enjoy myself because I know I am free, am independent and we live in a democratic Namibia and I make sure that I abide by the laws.” However, she lamented that there are some young people who take things for granted and instead of embracing this freedom, they abuse it. The youths must see independence as a way of changing their lives for the better and not waste their time on activities that are detrimental to the development of the country. This day, Pajydo Ashipala stated, should remind all the people about what happened and though lives were lost, all Namibian citizens should celebrate this day with pomp and ceremony because the end result of the war calls for jubilation. The only way that young people could contribute to this spirit of liberation and development is through abiding by the laws that govern the people of Namibia. “Through that, we will maintain peace,” she stressed. While the youths are expected to behave in a certain way to show their appreciation for what the country is today, there is no way that the young people would realise the importance of this day if their needs are not fully satisfied. According to Ashipala, most young people are unemployed and live in poverty. Given these social problems, they strive to find ways that would enable them survive and in most cases, they engage in criminal activities such as stealing, drug abuse and prostitution among others. Once again, the youths called on the government to intensify activities that are identified for the youths and engage them in developmental activities. Through that way, there will be less of these evil activities and peace would flourish.
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