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The time has come for young people to lead.

As a junior journalist, I have had the opportunity to dine and mingle with numerous people from all walks of life both on a formal and informal platform. I must admit that my views on many issues affecting not only I, but also wider society, have changed from before I entered the journalism field.

I have always wondered why I do not see young people taking the lead in matters affecting them. I am not trying to justify why I do not see my age mates taking the lead but I will give you a rough idea as to why they do not take the lead. It is not without reason that older, established leaders often claim that we are not stepping up.

How can we possibly step up if you are stepping on our toes anyway?

Until very recently I was under the impression that we as the youth of this country are pretty lazy. But after spending some time attending many events of who says what and who does what, I can tell you, as reader that Namibian youth are anything but lazy.

Look at it this way, as a father, you are suppose to train your son to be the next head of the house. Maybe not in your home but in his own house. Now you have to teach your child to do various things in and around the house by means of both example and instruction. Yet all you do is lead by word but not in doing.

This is how I view Namibian youth. Government and other stakeholders are fond of saying the youth must do this and that... Cheap chat, I'd say but I am particularly interested in the government's role, as policy makers and the ruling party in place. What is the government doing to make sure that youth are not only placeholders per se' but actually in the forefront in striving towards a developed Namibia?

Of course I am not saying that there are no youth in the forefront in the country, but the allegation is always generalised and made to sound universal.

What I am saying is that youth of the 21st century are undermined whilst this generation is so much more intelligent, digitally advanced and driven towards growth.

We are encouraged to take the lead, and we are doing so when it comes to economics related issues especially but what about the political aspect, what about our role in decision making? Until when will we be called the Swapo Youth League? Yet our leaders are not even close to fitting the description of youth and we are in the shadows.

The United Nations define youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 yet our own Swapo Youth Leaders do not even come close to matching that criteria. And to top it off, we had retired army generals that were nominated by the Swapo Party Youth League as delegates to the Swapo Congress (What a blow that was).

I was under the impression that the Swapo Party Youth League is a body supposed to empower the youth and give them the chance to engage in national development issues and integrate them in decision making at all levels.

The question is, do we really come across as that incapable if we have elders in the lead in our very own Youth Organisations, and if we do, were we ever given the chance and failed?

There are many very capable young persons out there that can lead the way and encourage other youth to step up and take responsibility.

Youth empowerment becomes taboo in sentences because all I see is middle-age empowerment.

The time has come to establish a Swapo Party Adult League.

BY YVONNE AMUKWAYA

YVONNE@ECONOMIST.COM.NA
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Title Annotation:THIS WEEK IN THE KHUTA: Views expressed in this column, a reflection of the tribal court, are those of the author and not of the Namibia Economist
Author:Amukwaya, Yvonne
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Date:Oct 19, 2012
Words:630
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