New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Is Love for Material Things Busy Destroying Children?

Eenhana — The concept of "earning" what you get or the idea of something "you don't need" seem to have been lost and discarded in this world. We now live in a society that promotes materialism and so we perpetuate this particular malady by instilling bad habits into our children.

In this world, so much emphasis is put on material wealth, children are taught from a very tender age that the measure of success and happiness in life is how much material wealth particular family has. This does not come with them being made aware of the trappings of the acquisition of wealth. Children naturally want things especially if their friends have something similar. The unfortunate result is that there are devastating consequences for such continued behaviour later in life. So much blame has been put on technology as the major reason for today's children's wayward behaviour but if truth be told, materialism is the main cause of the behaviour than anything else.

Nakale Weyulu, a Grade 12 learner at the Ohangwena Senior Secondary School in the Oshikango Constituency says most teens are concerned with material things. "As youths of today, we have been destroyed by material possessions, wherever you go where we meet as youths there is always that silent battle to see who is got it and who doesn't. Some students really come from well to do families and instead of being modest they tend to want to show off," she says.

"Since it becomes a battle to prove who got swag than the rest, those who cannot afford materials things then tend to feel insecure, and out of place to the extent that they go unimaginable lengths to fit," she adds.

Another learner, Peter Angula (Jnr) from the Engela Combined School is also of the same view: "The things that is leading most students astray is material things. The love for material possessions has seen some learners opting for quicker and uncouth ways of getting these material possessions," he says.

"Above everything as youths, we must strive to build our lives on solid foundation, that is education. We must emulate what the late Minister of Education advised us as learners from various institutions."

"The material we might enjoy now or we might feel we are left behind because we do not have now, will all come to pass, but if we have a solid foundation where our future is hoisted we will enjoy later."

Some parents also voice some concern on the behaviour of the children nowadays. A mother who only identified herself as Meme Ndakondja said, "nowadays the behaviour of our children is scary, I don't understand where this world is going. The behaviour of our children, especially those from the Polytechnic and Unam (University of Namibia) and other private schools are disappointing. I think it all goes down to the love for material things."

A History and English teacher at the Ondobe Senior Secondary School, Kascas Tulipohamba, joins the chorus of concerned parents that nowadays teachers don't even compete with their learners when it comes to the type of gadgets they use. He adds that some students even boast that they can buy their teachers lunch and beer for the whole year. He says material possessions are destroying the future of most learners in Namibia. The challenge is therefore on parents to stop destroying the future of their children because of material possession.

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