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Youth and Student world festival
- Ecuador versus South Africa

By Sioni Aluta Iikela

It is time again for the World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS). Namibia just like other progressive countries of the world will send a sizable number of progressive youth to go and share experiences and expectations with their fellow peers. The international preparatory team chose the theme: "Youth United Against Imperialism, For the World of Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation"; the theme is self explanatory and have said it all.

This festival is renowned for its progressive and anti-imperialism discussions, and as I personally witnessed myself in 2010 as I was one of the luckiest youth to have attended the festival in South Africa, the festival always take revolutionary resolutions. In this formulation I would like to shade some lights and unplug the cable of confusions delivered out of self-style wombs of some youth in general and some youth leaders in particular.

Firstly, I would like to inform the Namibian people that, obviously the World Festival for Youth and Student is a relevant and learning platform for youth on happenings of the world. There is nothing much better than our government paying for trips like this one and the money of our government cannot be utilized for anything better, if it is not for this festival.

In South Africa those of us who are interested and always sanctions ourselves to listen, be informed and inform others, had an opportunity to engage with and engaged by fellow youth from all over the world. I can't forget a three hours engagement that I and Cde. Amupanda had with a brother from South Africa who was by then in Grade 8. This boy has a dream of becoming a South African president through ANC.

He told us how he will go about to become a president. We were so inspired by the younger brother and indeed a Comrade of ANCYL. Shockingly, there were many who were interested in sexing themselves and drinking themselves up with alcohol throughout the festival. The festival starter menu was served in the then Windhoek College of Education's Hall when some of the colleagues from National Youth Council (NYC) decided to fight for Substance and Travelling Allowances, better known as S&T. I was flabbergasted to have witnessed this state of affairs from the leadership of Namibian youth.

As that was said, I am now failing to understand as to why some youth leaders in the country are reported in the media to have problems with the spending of about N$6 millions on this festival. Few questions keep popping up in my head: how come 2010 festival was not a waste of money and this year festival is seen through the lens of waste of money? How come the same received S&T in 2010 if this festival is not important to them? Does that mean in 2010 and other times Namibia sent youth to this event, there was no money used?

It is very important for all those to attend the WFYS to be aware of what their expectations are and what is expected of them. This trip is not a prefestival holiday, just like it is not a sexing, shopping spree and boozing tournament. It is a trip that requires major preparations of readings, consultations as a way of paving a way of informed contributions at Quito, Ecuador.

The delegates must take time and reflect on the geo-politics, continental and international politics as well as economic empowerment discourses. Not only that, the delegates must also take time and look at how economy of the progressive nations visa vis that of the strong nations behave; how those strong nations are pushing their bloody interests into the poor and weak nations of the third world, through what it come to be known as neo-colonialism.

The delegates must be aware of how international bodies, be it UN and some of its organs that have become tools of the imperial countries to experiment their deadly policy of regime change in Africa. I hope our delegates are not ready to do a repeat of 2010 as far as a bad side of the coin is concerned. It is of no regret that I wish to congratulate the Namibian government for paying the trip of about 250 Namibians to attend the festival in Ecuador. This will afford Namibian youth from all walks of life such as from rural and informal settlements, marginalized group, disabled, and different political formations, an opportunity to be exposed and learn from the fellow youth of the world.

I therefore suggest that those who have been involved in this event and are now seeing it a waste of money to come out and tell this nation as to why all of a sudden, this event is no more important. Or is it because it was not them involved in the preparation, hence they had no opportunity to accumulate S&T? On a final analysis, one continues to wonder how genuine and honest some of our youth leaders to the government are. We must be honest to the people of Namibia, if one take a list of those who have been attending this festival, you will find that those who have a problem have been attending this festival, why is it a problem now? I would like to sign off by wishing the Namibian delegation progressive and productive deliberations at the 18th WFYS.

A Luta Continua Cde. Sioni Aluta Iikela Namibian Youth writing from 7De Laan, Windhoek


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