OBITUARY: Gone too soon – Mandela Kapere

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

Mandela Kapere, a Member of Parliament, former Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Council (NYC), husband and father, son of loving parents, friend to many, and a talented younger leader in Namibia, died on the morning of Monday, December 7, 2020. This young man is gone to soon.

The late Mandela Kapere wrote articles for the Observer Connect Magazine, a product of the Windhoek Observer. He was always a willing and insightful commentator on national issues. His overall vision, keen intellect, bold vision and self-confidence made him a good columnist and political analyst. This son of the soil will be missed on the front pages.

Mandela left the Namibian stage too early. Many were hopefully and anxiously waiting for his continued rise in politics to reach its apex. And yet, his impact on Namibia cannot be overlooked.

He leaves this nation and his loving family with many lessons, achievements, and substantive memories. He was a member of the National Assembly who described himself as a Pan African and Social Democrat. He listed the policy interests that he would focus on while in the Parliament as water security, child nutrition and online safety, and climate change. But, his interests and commitments were wider than that.

Mandela Kapere served the youth of Namibia for nearly 15 years. While at the NYC, he demonstrated his concise knowledge and wide experience in youth development. He contributed to Namibia by taking up the role of deputy secretary general and later deputy president of the Pan-African Youth Union.

The late Swapo Parliamentarian worked extensively across the continent and within the African Union, United Nations and Southern Africa Development Cooperation as a proponent of youth issues, but also of governance reform.

Mandela served on numerous national bodies and served as a commissioner on the National Drug Control board and on the national coordinating committee on tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/Aids.

Throughout the years that Kapere has served NYC and racked up many achievements, one of his most notable was the youth leadership development program. Over several years, through this vehicle, the NYC trained about 300 young people in leadership and development skills.

May he rest in peace.

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