This volume explores what young Namibians think about living at the cross-road between traditional values - what their parents and grand-parents teach them - and modern values - what teachers, peers and the media teach them.
Is Westernisation a bad thing? Do we confuse westernisation, modernisation and colonisation? There are no right or wrong answers: everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. Many people in Namibia equate modernisation with westernisation, and if we look at this, there have been positive changes as a result – many people now have access to electricity and water. Access to education for all children is one of the Millenium Development Goals, and health services are a priority, particularly in this age of HIV and AIDS. However, changes have also caused some disruption. Modern machinery has decreased the need for unskilled labour, and the unemployment rate has increased. New technologies have significantly damaged the environment, and people’s habitats have been expropriated and exploited. Developments in mass transport and infrastructure have brought about improved communication and the freer exchange of ideas, but they have also contributed to the HIV pandemic. All things have their good and bad sides.
It may appear strange for OYO to be addressing the issue of 'Western versus traditional values'; it is not a typical topic for us to be covering. However, many of the phenomena that directly concern us, such as HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug abuse, sugar daddies and mommies, are in fact linked to changes that have occurred within Namibian society over the last fifty years. For example, there has been an increase in casual sex; there is easier access to alcohol and drugs, and many people exercise the wish to access a better standard of living through the exchange of sex for money or goods. It was therefore interesting to see what you had to say about the topic. How much are these cultural changes due to westernisation?
These are the questions we asked of Namibian learners and youth, and it created a lively debate. The magazine features their ideas, opinions and comments. It also features some fascinating articles about traditional cultures in Namibia, and how modernisation and westernisation are having an impact on them. The results make great reading!