In developing countries, such as Namibia is it essential that we create youth development and leadership programmes to equip the youth with the essential life skills to make a significant developmental contribution in their lives and communities. This the policy of City Of Windhoek.
In this issue, our contributor, Wilka Tsetuna Kayoko caught up with the inspiring and committed Grace Mackinza the Junior Mayor of Windhoek.
Tell us more about yourself. Who is Grace Mackinza?
I would describe myself as goal oriented and driven. I love encouraging others to reach their maximum potential. I am argumentative and I enjoy finding solutions for existing problems.
Now that you are recognised as one of the young/ junior mayors in Namibia, what are you planning to do economically, socially and politically to make Windhoek, or moreover Namibia a better place?
Since the moment I was recognised as the Junior Mayor, I have worked tirelessly to educate the youth on relevant matters that pertain to the youth. As the Junior Mayor, I strongly believe in the power of discourse. Throughout my term I have availed myself to face to face discussions with the youth of Namibia. I have engaged in talks of sexual rights violations and awareness of them as well mental health and suicide talks to facilitate the rights young people have to life and freedom.
However, I fully believe that it would be impossible to reach the target audience with various organisations that cater to issues the youth are facing such as UNAIDS, Sister Namibia, Lifeline Child line, Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as Afriyan . The Junior Council has collaborated with these organisations to bring awareness to the youth on safe sex.
Similarly, my work with the Afrox Leadership Academy has allowed me to facilitate small groups at my school Delta Secondary School in 2018 to educate teens about their rights and what they can do to areas such as mental health which are not catered for.
I have continued to work on this project with Former Ms Namibia Selma Kamanya.
Furthermore, I will be collaborating with the Pan African association to further publicise the rights Namibian children have pertaining to the constitution. With regards to areas which are not as recognised such as mental health which affects Namibian children indiscriminately.
How do you plan to eliminate corruption in local government?
I look at corruption as a two way street; I can concur to the fact that corruption is primarily caused by corrupt leaders I do believe that it is the society which allows corrupt leaders to thrive which is the issue . We had the youth need to start formulating systems which penalise corrupt leaders and discourage corruption.
Why public speaking? How did the passion came about?
Public speaking has awarded me so many opportunities. It has taught me all that I know about being eloquent. I strongly believe that every student needs to engage in public speaking of debating in order to share their ideas .
I strongly believe that the world is my oyster and I cannot help but anticipate what God has in store for me .
How are you as mayor engaging with the youth and tackling the problems they may be facing?
I have collaborated with various youth Organisations and set up free stations where members of the youth such as myself can get free safe sex mentoring and I believe that this initiative will curb the ever increasing HIV youth infections by allowing free testing and planed parenting amongst the youth this is an initiative to reduce the amount of teenage pregnancy in namibia .
Besides you being a mayor, what else do you want to become in the near future?
What have you done differently than previous Junior Mayor’s ?
I think that former Juniour junior mayors have all done such tremendous work in their communities. I do however believe that only time will tell whether my time as the Junior mayor has made the impact I so desire to make .
As your term is coming to an end, have you accomplished all your goals as Mayor?
I think that as the City of Windhoek Council for 2019 /2020 we have fully outdone ourselves. I look forward to seeing what the new council has in store.
There you have it folks, I hope you are inspired to develop yourself as an individual or participate in personal development and leadership programmes to enhance your skills ,especially public speaking and make a difference in your communities. The future is in our hands!