The Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development says over the past years, there has been a common agreement that young people do not value their cultures anymore, and it brings discomfort to know that they are slowly losing their identity.

Nathalia |Gȏagoses said this during the 45th Damara Annual Cultural Festival at Okombahe in the Erongo Region.

|Gȏagoses agrees with the sentiment that Africans or the black race have adopted cultures that are not their own and abandoned theirs.

She says in the modern world, intelligence is measured by the proficiency of a foreign language, and if one is fluent in English, they are respected in society, as opposed to one who is fluent in Khoekhoegowab or any other indigenous language.

The former teacher and education director says language is only used to communicate and should not be a measure of intelligence. If there is a promise young people should make, it is never to think proficiency in a language equals intelligence.

"Today, you will find that certain accents are valued more than an African accent. Once again, fellow Namibians, an accent is influenced by the background we come from, and there is nothing humorous about having a foreign accent. I am talking to you young people, for it is you who think it's cool not to be speaking your own languages and not wanting your children to bear African names or name them after western celebrities."

She further added that culture is the only hope for one to better understand their origin.

"Culture will help you understand who you are and why you behave in a certain way. Culture will give you a sense of pride. If you find out today that your people do not give up, I guarantee that you will also want to stop giving up. Knowing your culture will boost our self-respect and dignity as we follow our values. Once you know who you are, some negative vibes and foreign influences will become a thing of the past."

Neglecting culture and traditions is not wise and should not be an option, and young people need to understand that they are the only ones who can uphold and preserve their cultures, she stressed.

Stefan Uirab