The University of Namibia (Unam) has awarded student, Tikhala Itaye, the Ubuntu Award.
The Ubuntu Award is granted to a final-year law student in recognition of an act of kindness by him or her towards fellow human beings. The concept of Ubuntu embodies the ideas of community and mutual care for all.
The award is also given to generous, compassionate and caring students who during the course of their studies have lent others a helping hand. “When you do things for others, you do not expect to get a reward for it. Thus it really came as a surprise to me. It made me realise all the impact that one person can have on someone’s life when they help others or show kindness in any way,” Itaye says.
He encourages other youths to never hold their back in helping others, including a neighbour, friend or community. “You have the ability to be the blessing in other people’s lives, even if you are never recognised. We all have a heart of intense compassion for one another and I believe we will be such a united nation that builds together and with one another,” she says.
Itaye has also been appointed the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN)’s president for the eastern and southern African region. The organisation is affiliated with the United Nations (UN) and the National Youth Council (NYC). It works with youth organisations on issues relating to health, gender and youth developments.
“It is such a key role of influence having to serve and work with young people in more than 22 countries in eastern and southern Africa,” says Itaye.
She says her appointment came after she did voluntary work on issues relating to HIV-Aids, teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence over the past three years. “During this time, I had the opportunity to speak at many international platforms and advocate for issues affecting young people and this is where it has taken me.
“I love what I do, and the reason I do it is to see young people fulfilling their potential and to ensure that as young people we take lead in directing policy and programmes that affect us,” she says proudly.