President Geingob was an advocate for youth

WINDHOEK: Swapo Party Youth Secretary (SPYL) Ephraim Nekongo has said the late Namibian President, Dr Hage Gottfried Geingob, who died at a Windhoek hospital on Sunday, was a champion for Namibian youth.

‘The death of our former president has left us in the Swapo Party Youth League shattered. We were hoping the president would come back and continue his work. Some of these things are quite foreign to us, so they truly broke us.

‘However, it gives us courage because he was a person who groomed us. He always told us that you young people must be ready at any given time to take over from us,’ Nekongo said while remembering the late statesman in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.

In May 2022, President Geingob appointed Nekongo to the National Assembly to take over from former Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste.

The late president also elevated other young people to positions of power, including Emma Theofilus, the deputy minister of information and communication technology, as well as Marius Sheya, Ja
mes Uerikua and Neville Andre Itope, who are the regional governors of Kunene, Otjozondjupa and Erongo respectively.

‘Before and after independence, the president has been at the helm of grooming young people. When he was in Zambia, at the United Nations, and when he came back, he groomed many young people. So, the one thing that you cannot take away from the late president was working with young people. That is the legacy we will inherit from him,’ said Nekongo.

Nekongo’s sentiments were echoed by Itope, who said Geingob was committed to empowering young people, especially since taking office in 2015, when that commitment was evident on the national stage.

According to Itope, Geingob was a youth empowerment champion who offered opportunities for young people to build character, identify their purpose and shape their destinies in order to contribute to Namibia’s progress.

‘I am one of the youngest governors and this surely gives hope to many young people. The late President Geingob always believed in empo
wering young people and exposing them to positions of leadership,’ he added.

The governor highlighted that Geingob’s benevolence toward youths began early in his tenure as the head of the United Nations Institute for Namibia from 1975 to 1989, when he groomed numerous young Namibians for government positions before independence.

‘He was very instrumental in having perfect technocrats for the government in young people… You will always hear that his office was full of young people who worked with him and today many of them are making impactful contributions to the country, both in the private and public sectors,’ stated Itope, adding that the late statesman gracefully assumed the role of a father figure.

‘He was a father who always had something to teach those around him. Whenever we spent time with him, he would not only engage in serious conversations, but it was always fun to be with him because he would make jokes and we would dance until late. We will always appreciate that about him.’

Source: The
Namibia Press Agency