Throughout Afrikan history, the Afrikan youth have always been ideological orientated, especially in the fight for the liberation of their respective Afrikan states.
Sadly this is not the case anymore; in Namibia we had the student organisation Nanso (Namibia National Students Organisation) for example, today it has scooped so low it is merely a portal for power hungry youth to get into Swapo, more like a platform for the youth to fight and get a ticket into Swapo youth league. We now have what we call the “post-ideological generation of Afrikan youth”. Our generation is but a lost generation, like brother Malcolm X said: “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” Today we are falling, we are damaged by our collective divergent from natural law in exchange for material values. Personally, it would be a delight if anyone can proof the above claim does not hold water. The truth is Afrikan youth today are shrewdly put ‘mentally castrated’ and our black race is at a watershed where the black history and pride is being overlapped by the western culture. The Afrikan culture is not just being swept under the carpet but literally being obliterated at a rate that will leave us unable to stand up as a people.
Afrikan youth have been ideological disoriented, and a great deal of this is caused by some of the political actors and the pseudo-ideologies of sectarianism based on tribe, religion and gender chauvinism, especially here in Namibia. We have all picked up I believe the indiscipline of many Namibian youth who misbehave with impunity, largely attributed to western propaganda and the obliteration of Afrikan norms, and then there is the under-development (Afrikan Ideologies) of many educated generation-Y youth which contributes to the brain drain from Africa (the man who goes to put out the fire next door, while his own house is burning down.) I do not entirely blame them for it is the ideology of opportunists who disregard the interests of Africa in exchange to fatten their pockets. I am talking about those in power who deny the children a true education on Afrikan History. Instead we are taught about wars and treaties signed and to memorise dates but not about the impalpable driving forces of the minds behind these wars and treaties.
Afrika is bleeding, black people for over 4000 years have been the most feared and most successful people on the planet, but for the last 400 years we have been the laughing stock of the world. Our ancestors were trend setters; they built structures which stood the test of time, the sphinx, castle of Lalibelo, the great ruins of Shona, etc. The Afrikan kingdoms were vast and our Alexandrian libraries envied by the Greeks and Romans. Today this is esoteric knowledge; mainly due to the power of the media which needs to realign itself. The media is a very powerful entity, and they have the ability to create collective hypnosis and self-delusion. One of my personal heroes, Steve Bantu Biko, rightfully stated ‘the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.’ Their arsenal today is in the everyday technology, the tube and radio. The very thing we are using for our advancement is the very weapon through which they are indoctrinating the youth, through church, academia, film and documentaries. In the motion pictures, for example, they make a documentary on ancient Afrika (the only time Afrika flourished) with a leading protagonist being a white man, or for children you will find like G.O.A.T. Muhammad Ali said: “How come Tarzan (a white young boy) who was not born in the jungle but merely grew up in the jungle but he could speak and understand the panthers and other animals? While the aboriginal in the same jungle thousands of eons don’t have this telepathic understanding with the animals.” You can brush it off; yet this works subliminally on the kid that white is better than black for they see it on the tube and many externalise it in their everyday lives. We have given them the license and the young generation, which is about to come of age, is drowning in their publishing powers. They are defining and distorting our history, when you define you give identity, when you give identity you are in control. This is the same reason that the first thing Adam did was name everything.
The youth is trapped, especially the generation-Z, what has happened in our youngest generation, particularly those in the urban settings is a cultural genocide. More specifically children whose parents are from gen-Y. They think it is fancy when their kids cannot utter one sentence in their native vernacular. No, it’s an ignominy and you are knowingly or not, contributing to the greatest atrocity one person can commit towards another, cultural genocide. Not to be insensitive, but if all adult Herero were annihilated in the 1904 genocide (may their souls rest in eternal peace) and their kids raised under a different culture presumably German, in 2016 after 112 years we wouldn’t have an Otjiherero speaking community. To be an Omuherero is not just a way of life, but also speaking the language; it is your culture that defines you, not your blood! Cherish your cultures; it is the only means to protecting ourselves as a people and against the on-going re-colonisation of the continent.
Bob Marley famously sang, ‘how long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look.’ Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Zamora Machel, Chris Hani, Steve Biko, etc., and too many others have died for the door to remain closed. We need leaders with legitimate interest in their people and when we get those, we the people should protect them by all means. New Afrikan leaders who have the same zest as Afrikan liberation fighters had in the 1960s. Leaders who will reconstruct the lifeless aspirations of the people, which are frustrated and suppressed by our fictional independence (There has been a change of the political upper structure of the continent, the political elite, which ruled for centuries is replaced but the people are barely surviving). Leaders who will incorporate the Afrikan way of thinking; In Afrikan thought the relationship between the person and the community is inseparably interweaved, and is best expressed by the dictum given by John Mbiti, “I am because we are. We are therefore I am”. We can never have a piece of mind, when one person up-town throws away food in the trash while the other goes to be not knowing where his next meal will come from.
The aim is to resuscitate the remaining of our culture, which is distorted and ultimately lead to an ideologically orientated Afrikan youth, a proud Afrikan youth which will not compromise the spiritual, cultural or societal integrity of the Afrikan people. A culturally educated Afrikan youth that will listen to no other propaganda than that of our true Afrikan heroes/heroines who lived before us and those who now live amongst us!
Batcho S Katumbo is an Animal Science (honours) graduate and currently pursuing a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Namibia (Unam).