At 23, Namibia’s youngest MP Patience Masua has all hands on the deck

Share via:

AT age 23, Patience Masua is Namibia’s youngest Member of Parliament, but that’s only the beginning of what is Namibia’s most beautiful story inasmuch as youth empowerment is involved.

The young education advocate, youth activist and lawyer has set her eyes on the bigger picture both in her growing political trajectory and blossoming career as a human rights lawyer.

How Masua landed a seat in Parliament

Masua was appointed MP by Namibian President Hage Geingob in April 2021. She took the place of former defence minister Peter Vilho who resigned in a huff after being exposed for stashing millions of dollars in a Hong Kong offshore account.

Her appointment brought disgruntled uproars in some sections of Namibia’s social and electronic media, with some saying she was too young and inexperienced to be a lawmaker.

The firebrand Masua has maintained she was not plucked by President Geingob from obscurity, adding that her track record is there for all to see right from high school to Parliament and law practice.

“It is not common that a 22-year-old gets appointed to parliament, but it’s common that a 22-year-old can make an impact in the way my track record shows,” said Masua, in response to her critics.

Masua previously served as the Secretary-General of Namibia National Students Organization (NANSO) and as Speaker of Student Parliament of the University of Namibia (UNAM) students representative council.

I don’t sing for my supper – Patience Masua

Masua is highly opinionated on issues affecting youths, and has had heated moments in Parliament defending her growing political space. She sees herself as self-made and won’t kindly take to those who demean her because of age, while accepting that genuine criticism helps her grow both emotionally and politically.

“Criticism has really become the ammunition that I use to improve and refine myself. They attack – I work.

“I don’t succumb to the politics of likability because I don’t sing for my supper, I work for it. So trust that if you are not performing as per your mandate, I will call it out. Capacity has to meet power. ‘Business unusual’ it surely is,” Masua says.

Patience Masua was born in Gobabis, Namibia on January 7, 1999.

Masua, despite being a ruling party appointee, openly takes Cabinet Ministers to task in Parliament and on social media whenever she believes youths interests are undermined.

“It is essential that young people are engaged in formal political processes and have a say in formulating today’s and tomorrow’s politics. I am certain that collectively as a generation, we are the ones who will bring solutions to the multidimensional challenges our country faces.

“Now is the time for the State to respond decisively by reviewing existing fiscal, monetary and social policies to empower and protect businesses at risk of closure, as well as to stimulate SMEs.

“It is imperative now to boost entrepreneurship by removing barriers and constraints such as collateralised lending so that young people can secure loans more easily so that they may start their businesses and become employers of labour and GDP contributors,” Masua reckons.

Fighting in the youth’s corner

Namibian youths face basically the same challenges faced by youths in sub-Saharan Africa: shrinking socio-economic opportunities, unemployment and increasingly costly education.

Masua is aware that the youths she represents – among other Namibians in her constituency – do not have the same needs and have different expectations. Regardless, she believes all young people should stand their ground when their interests ate challenged.

She continues: “No Namibia student with the capacity, willingness and qualification should be denied acess to higher education with ‘funding’ as a barrier.

“Namibian young people are not homogenous and their needs vary, and emphasis and focus should be put on vulnerable groups.

“As we respond to the economic challenges facing young people, we must maintain sight of vulnerable and marginalised groups.”

Youth with disabilities do experience disproportionate levels of discrimination and social exclusion in contrast to their able-bodied peers, Masua reckons.

“We need to focus on creating greater access, opportunities, visibility and protection for differently-abled young Namibians,” she observes.

No economic development until Namibians own the land

On the hotly topical issue of land expropriation, Masua does not mince her words.

The young lawyer wants Namibia to decisively deal with land restoration saying as long the majority did not own the land, poverty would remain parked at the door of most households.

“Much of the colonially entrenched suffering that we still face today can be solved if we answer the land question,” Masua reasons.

“Much of the colonially entrenched suffering that we still face today can be solved if we answer the land question,” Masua reasons.

“It is about the land – this is why they (colonialists) forcefully took it. We must decisively answer the land question.”

Student activism, volunteering shaped Masua

Patience Masua was born in Gobabis, Namibia on January 7, 1999. She was only 2 years old when her family moved to the capital city, Windhoek, where she attained her education up to university.

But it wasn’t until her high school that her interest in debate, politics and the public discourse became noticeable.

At Delta Secondary School in Windhoek, Masua served as Deputy Head Girl and engaged fully in student politics and activism.

She enrolled for a law degree at the University of Namibia and took keen interest in shaping herself as a thought leader by regularly penning opinion articles in local newspapers.

While at university, Patience Masua served in the Student Union as Faculty Representative for the University of Namibia Faculty of Law.

She also nursed her passion for volunteering, and asserts that doing voluntary work drove her to where she is today.

“I value volunteerism. In my first year at the University of Namibia, I volunteered for the international relations office and as volunteers, we would assist in coordinating projects for the office,” says Patience.

At 23, Masua has academic qualifications that probably 99 percent of Namibian young women of her age do not have.

She also had the opportunity to volunteer at the Office of the First Lady of Namibia. And while at all that, she remained a keen disciple of debate, as if she knew that she would be debating as a backbencher in the Namibian Parliament not long after.

“There’s a video clip of me when I was eight years old and I said that when I grow up I will become a motivational speaker. Coupled with law, it all makes sense now. It has always been within me.

“Debate teaches you the art of critical analysis, objectivity, and persuasion. Debate was one of the things that gave me a passion to help people through publishing newspaper articles and youth advocacy. I believe law is one of the most powerful tools to drive societal change. I love it.”

Masua enjoys a good time, too

At 23, Masua has academic qualifications that probably 99 percent of Namibian young women of her age do not have. A holder of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Honours in Law from the University of Namibia (UNAM), Masua also boasts a Certificate in International Humanitarian Law from the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Africa.

With her politics rapidly taking her places, Masua also wants to grow professionally as a practising lawyer. She plans to take her Masters Degree in Human Rights Law and International Law abroad, seeing as this programme is not offered in the country.

As a community leader, Masua has the less fortunate at heart. She found the Patience Masua Foundation, a charity she chairs.

She also is a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumnus and former country director of the Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYOF).

Namibia’s youngest MP Patience Masua, 23, wants her Government to decisively deal with land restoration issue.

Away from the fast lane of politics, Parliamentary debates and court sessions as a lawyer, Masua enjoys a good time, like many of her peers.

“I’m just a normal person – wake up, gym, strategise with my team, go to Parliament, come back, visit my mom on some weekends, try and travel here and there . . . pretty boring,” Masua says when asked what she does in her leisure time.


  1. LATEST Entry-Level Jobs in SA
  2. LATEST Internships & Learnerships in SA
  3. LATEST Bursaries in SA
  4. LATEST Career Tips & Resources
  5. LATEST Grants & Funding 
  6. LATEST Contests for South Africans

  • Join our Telegram channel so you’ll never miss an opportunity. Simply CLICK HERE, and you’re in!

Share via:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button