A man who lived through both world wars, Tsam Niklas, says today’s youth need to stay away from alcohol, and drugs, because they are not good for the health, although he himself still takes a swig of the intoxicating beverage.
Niklas was born on May 13, 1913 at Tschudi which is now a mine in the vicinity of Tsumeb. He strongly maintained that even though he still drinks, the youth should refrain from using alcohol and drugs as the two are not something good to associate with, and they should rather focus on more pressing issues such as putting bread on the table.
He made this plea with reference to the high number of alcohol-related crime cases in the area, alleging that they are all caused by lack of employment, which is the reason why youth spend most of their time drinking alcohol.
“Poverty has captured us in this area because most of the youth are unemployed and there is no source of employment here apart from working on nearby farms where they get paid peanuts. All this has left the youth with nothing to keep them going in life, thus leading them to engage in unnecessary things. If government was to put up some capital projects here I think the situation would change in future as they will always be preoccupied and therefore won’t have much luxury time to spend on drinking alcohol,” stressed Niklas.
At the age of 103, Niklas still has his full strength to walk on his own with the assistance of a walking stick and still has his full sight.
“I am still strong and do some things for myself – I do not necessarily need much assistance. I can bath myself but I cannot prepare a meal,” narrated Niklas, who attributed his long life to a healthy lifestyle.
Niklas had nine children although all of them are now deceased. He relies on his nine grand and great grandchildren, of whom only two live with him at Tsintsabis while the rest are in other parts of the country where they are working.
“Oupa is a very good person and intelligent man. It is just his old age that has strained him a bit, especially this year when he has suffered from illnesses here and there. But overall he is very healthy and strong. For the past years he would do most things for himself and he didn’t want anyone to help him because he always insisted he can do them on his own,” stressed Landine Tsam, the grateful granddaughter who has been taking care of him for the past years.