The late Tatekulu Andimba Toivo ya Toivo was a man of high repute and integrity that did not like any kind of social injustice anyway in the world especially towards the Namibian citizens hence his long fight pre- and post-independence for a just and equal society for all.
He especially and on various occasions encouraged the Namibian youth to work hard academically, to avoid greed and corruption so that they can work together as a generation in an independent nation so as to position themselves to successfully wage the next battle for the total economic freedom of the country.
To achieve this total economic aspiration, as was strongly advocated and advised by the late icon to the present-day Namibian youth, is a very tall order for a generation that for various reasons does not possess the same kind of unity and vigour that he and his compatriots had during their heyday.
Going forward, the late Tatekulu Toivo ya Toivo, among many other notable Namibians, played his part to liberate this country to such an extent that he was even imprisoned for a very long time in a South African jail for a just cause.
And despite the long hardships that he endured at the hands of the coloniser, he emerged even stronger and more determined after his release from prison in 1984 to ensure that the political independence of the country was successfully achieved.
With that said, a post-mortem, relative to his significant role towards our independence, needs to be done to compare the amount of unity that existed among the youth or generation prior to our independence against the generation of leaders who took over at independence and their impact on the born-free generation who somehow are not heeding the call to work together for the total economic freedom of the country.
This kind of environment of lack of unity and ignorance among the post-independence generation and the youth in particular is not good for the country taking into account that Namibia is a child born out of international solidarity, with the initial expectation that the nation’s natural mineral resources and wealth were to be equitably distributed for the welfare and benefit of the populace.
In retrospect, the struggle for national independence was long and bitter whereby many people, both in and out of the country, sacrificed their lives through unity of purpose to ensure the total political freedom of the country was successfully achieved.
Despite this glorious achievement, the nation has somewhat veered into a totally different socio-economic development direction which was not initially intended by our forefathers.
This has sadly led to citizens aligning and competing among themselves for economic survival, creating an environment of extreme greed and corruption, which has subsequently led to higher unemployment levels, country-wide poverty and destitution.
The generation prior to our independence were united among themselves for the common goal to free the motherland through whatever means necessary from the hook of the apartheid regime. They did this without any foresight to any material gain with the ultimate objective that all that is bestowed upon Namibia belongs to Namibians. This generation through the participation of all progressive Namibians and with the support of the international community worked well together vigorously and tirelessly through many fronts to ensure that Namibia became a free nation to, among others, determine its own destiny.
In contrast to the above political achievement through the unity of purpose that was embraced prior to our independence, the political generation post-independence somehow subsequently dispersed from their core uniting values that they always had prior to our independence and henceforth thereafter compromised themselves towards a political and economic system that, whether through design or default, favoured more those already with the means to best acquire and utilise private capital to the detriment of the less fortunate members of society.
In that context, the current Namibian youth despite all good intentions by all concerned lack the necessary unification and leadership qualities and attributes of the same generation that led the country to achieve its national independence which as a broad consequence has rendered the current generation the inability to achieve the total economic independence as is aspired by the late liberation icon.
Therefore, the current youth have to seriously take note of the significant role played by the various historic progressive leaders and unite as an entity to continue upon where others have achieved. In the same vein, the older generation should deliberately create an environment upon which the new generation can acquire and use the same fundamental traits that will empower them to successfully achieve the economic freedom that were initially intended. In the absence of that, the economic struggle might, going forward, go up in smoke.
May the soul of Ya Toivo rest in eternal peace.
* Pendapala Hangala is a Namibian socio-economist.