Day of the African Child marked in Omaheke

GOBABIS; Various schools in the Omaheke Region on Saturday marked the Day of the African Child, commemorated across the African continent on 16 June in honour of hundreds of learners who lost their lives during the Sharpeville, Soweto uprising of 1976 in South Africa.

The event started with a march across town.

Delivering the keynote address on the day, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Kilus Nguvauva said the sacrifices of the young people who stood up against oppression in the education sector should be an encouragement for modern youth to work hard.

He said many of those who rose against apartheid laws were young people with big dreams for their futures, but whose lives were cut abruptly short during the uprising.

As such, Nguvauva said, the current youth generation should not let their death come to nothing.

“These were youthful people just like you with dreams and aspiration in their eyes. They too dreamed of a free country that they would one day call ‘Mother Land’. They wanted their future generations to be judged on the content of their character and not on the basis of their skin colour,” he said, loosely paraphrasing American Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr’s well-known statement.

The deputy minister said it was vital for the Namibian youth to align their efforts towards furthering the spirit of sacrifice, which was laid by the students of Soweto in 1976.

“We are here today to take out a mirror and reflect on our doings as Namibians and African youth, and ask ourselves the question whether what we do is in line with what people paid the highest price for – the price of giving their own life for the freedom of others,” Nguvauva said.

Cultural performances, poetry recitals and a schools’ choir competition rounded up activities on the day.

The commemoration of the Day of the African Child has been endorsed by the majority of member states and governments of the African Union.

The day is marked in all these countries to reflect on the bitter sacrifice paid by students in the aftermath of the South African uprising.