Ngurare is a great communicator, pretends to hold liberal views and has certainly turned many youngsters into Swapo supporters. He speaks their language, is constantly on their platforms and hasn’t (yet) been charged with corruption.
Yes, he’s an affable and agreeable chap and has masterfully crafted an enviable image for himself in the public eye.
If he does what Swapo politicians do and “accept the task he is assigned to by the party or the people”, he will be the next SPYL SG. At the end of his next term he will be almost 50.
He has cunningly aligned the stars to stay in his seat. I don’t blame him for playing politics. The man is a politician. However, he is a 42-year- old politician. Certainly not a youth! Although he may have children who are.
But Ngurare is not the first SPYL SG who has stayed at the club long after the DJ has gone home and all the lights have been turned on.
Before him, Paulus Kapia turned 30 when he was elected as SG. Kapia was relatively young (even for Youth League standards) but he was too old in his head.
It was his mindless pronouncements and his out of tune mimicking of Sam Nujoma, that killed his swag. He called for the boycott of a certain newspaper and wasn’t overly friendly to gays and lesbians.
Kapia is accused of doing what we have now become accustomed to from our elders. He is currently facing charges for trying to make money in a scam where Nujoma and the SPYL were mentioned prominently. So there’s something good about the man after all.
To my shock, front and centre, was Jerry Ekandjo on the archive front page of The Namibian (from 1988) in the Wednesday edition this week. The then (probably internal) SPYL SG must have been 41, if my calculator isn’t deurmekaar.
Ekandjo became my hero when he embarked on an almost decade long battle with Windhoek-based pensioner Petrina Afrikaner, over her goats.
In 2002, the elderly woman had to part ways with 22 goats that Ekandjo, then Regional and Local Government Minister claimed were stolen from his farm. He lost the case but I wonder if she’s got her goats and all the kids back by now? No, I’m not talking about struggle kids. While Home Affairs Minister, Ekandjo apparently told newly graduated police officers to “eliminate” gays and lesbians “from the face of Namibia”.
Oshili! Ahawe eshenge inali pitikwa?
No, this was not in 1900. It was in 2000. In Namibia.
Afterwards he was very hardegat on a BBC programme, asking the journalist if he was a homosexual. “Have the homosexuals there sent you?” he asked. “Let the homosexuals themselves phone me, then I can give them the answer.”
Now you know who Julius Malema models himself on.
But Hadino Hishongwa, who will turn 70 next year, was probably the oldest of all the elderly youth league leaders, when they returned from exile just before Independence. You do the math. Yes, he was the guy who once said cars are like AIDS. He was referring to the hundreds of Chevrolet vehicles Government bought for the Police force then. Hishongwa claimed they were “useless” and were “draining the nation”. I can think of a few things that
are “useless” and are “draining the nation” today.
As crazy as they may sound you can’t really blame these chaps for wanting to serve. They simply have no other platform in their party apart from the youth league and elders council structures. Why not create a structure for the guys from 35 and up? You can call it the ‘Naughty Forties League’.
These guys are stuck in youth structures way past their time and in the process, block all leadership positions for real youth. It seems you only register on Swapo’s radar once you qualify for the elders council. Just look at the age of their top four.
So, have you seen a trend unfolding here? Ag, let me just say it. If you remain a youth league leader for too long, or become one too late, you go cuckoos before the time.
The real youth should stand up for themselves. They probably don’t know how. Upstaging a sophisticated politician like Ngurare is probably not an easy task. Just ask the guys who are tussling with him at the moment. They could however insist that their organisation’s rules be adhered to. “Membership of Swapo Party Youth League shall thus consist of two groups; namely youth between the ages of 18 and 35, and pioneers between the ages of 6 and 17,” according to Swapo’s website.