Born to stimulate change



Born in Oshakati, 22 years ago Kanyemba Abner Sacky Gawie is the first Namibian to be chosen as the youth ambassador for Millenium Development Goal (MDG), a position which will change the quality of his life and the Namibian youth.


The Youth Millennium Development Ambassadors (YMDAs) is a global initiative uniting youth leaders and leaders of youth focused organisation serving as catalysts of social change, transforming local communities and championing the realisation of the global development through thoughts, words and actions in local communities, by utilising the energies, resourcefulness and abilities of young people.


  With this new designation, Gawie, the YMDA 2013 will be pioneering the YMDAs efforts to engage young people to support the work of the United Nations in the desire to realise sustainable global development in this millennium in Namibia and in Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).


The initiative recognizes prominent community youth advocates and inspires, empowers, connects, utilise and celebrates their contributions towards global development. The initiative was launched in 2011 in Sierra Leone to mark the United Nations International Youth Day (UNIYD).


The YMDAs work as volunteers to localise the global development goals in their local communities. Members are global youth development ambassadors who are inspired by the challenges in their communities and seek to transform challenges to opportunities through youth service.


This achievement is one that Gawie had not even dreamt of growing up in a structure that did not promise a bright future.

Gawie grew up in a family that was not as close as he would have loved it to be, he missed his father a lot than is the current situation.. The situation forced him depend on himself beside the support of his mother and that of his mother’s friend who he regards as a godmother.


The young man who hails from  Oupumako village , a few kilometres east of Ongwediva in Oshana Region  attended Erundu Combined School until grade 10 and later moved to Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb.


After high school, he struggled to get enough money for tertiary but was later awarded a bursary from Trustco Namibia  to study law, and then due to his academicals abilities, he also got awarded another bursary from the second year from Namibia Ports Authority (Namport).


He describes himself as an average performing learner, who used to only getting A in arts and crafts.  “Since childhood, I have always loved to draw, to this day, when I have time, I draw sketches and comics. A hopeless hobby for me I think, because I do not use it anywhere. My mind thinks in “picture” and analytical links. My mind is logical, innovative and creative in thinking,” he recalls.


He adds: “I am exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings and practical outcomes. Academically, I am highly analytical and draw connections between concepts to understand them in a holistic manner; I work best when allowed to use my imagination,” he explains.


Passionate about social change while still at Etosha Secondary school, he initiated an association which organised tournaments, social activities and debates, whereby his passion for debates was ignited thus paving way for numerous opportunities which have come his way and this seem more like the beginning.


Before long he was taking part in debates on a national level and soon on an international level either representing the University of Namibia and the country.


 Gawie notes that one of the platforms that spearheaded him into a career of debate speaking and eventually to be chosen as a young ambassador is the Model United Nations.


Model UN is an interactive opportunity for students to become familiar with international issues and the workings of the United Nations organisations. The goal of the Model UN is to have students learn and debate the policies of the state they are representing with other students with the same aim.


At a Model UN conference debate, students assume roles of diplomats representing various member-states of the UN and stimulate various committees, agencies, specific organs and programs of the UN system. By stimulating the discussions and debates held between States at the UN and by striving towards a majority agreement in the form of a resolution, delegates learn about the challenges facing the UN today and learn how to put international issues in a more local and personal context.


He stresses on the fact that Model UN has brought together thousands of students from all around the world to find solutions. Thus far six resolutions have been adopted by the UN General Assembly from Geneva, New York, Bulgaria and the Netherland respectively.  It is also worth mentioning that a simulation on the crisis in Syria was also held in Johannesburg in 2012 were the top twenty students in various fields of Law, International Relations and policy development assemble of which their recommendations were adopted by the United Nations Security Council.


He says there have been calls from the international community for Namibia to start an International Model UN.


“With a good financial support, Namibia can organise its first International debate conference which can start with a few hundred students from all over the world to compete and discuss global issues. It could be run by youngsters, and would eventually empower the youth and makes them feel that their voices is being heard and contributing to society,” he concludes.


As it has always been emphasised on in Africa, a child is raised by the whole village, and Gawie strongly believe that it should stay the case as the elders can instil values and aspirations that contribute to the community development.


He emphasised that youngsters nowadays do not value education as a tool to progress in the future and need to be taught and inspired them into pursuing education for a higher purpose.


If he had not pursued a law degree, he would have loved being a graphic designer or anything in the field of marketing.  This young man with many talents has always had also passion for singing.


” I have been in choirs for as long as I can remember, I even use to perform at school talent shows some time in the past. And I used to love sprinting, I use to run 100m and 200m in school, it was my forte,” he recalls.


Gawie has already completed his first degree, Baccalaureus Juris and is currently doing his second law degree at the University of Namibia, Bachelors of Laws. After his bachelor’s degree, he is planning on undertaking a Masters in International Maritime Laws abroad.


He says that his passion for debate has seen him travel the world in countries such as Sweden, The Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium, Germany, Canada, France, Switzerland, China, Bulgaria, Turkey, Botswana, United Arab Emirates, Mozambique and The United Kingdom. It is clear the world is giving the young man on the rise a standing ovation as the future looks bright. PF