Namibia is seeing it’s first-ever woman presidential candidate in Esther Muinjangue, standing for the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO). The southwest African country will go to the polls on Wednesday. Prior to that Esther Muinjangue addressed her supporters at a presidential campaign rally at the UN Plaza. She said that she feels a “wind of change” blowing through the country.

 Esther Muijangue: Wind Of Change

Esther Muijangue is a social worker by profession. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of social work. Her specific area of work has been in family and childcare. Moreover, she has been a part of the Ministry of Health and Social Services for more than ten years. She has also worked as a social work lecturer at the University of Namibia.

Muijangue promises to cull the corrupt and bloated government as well as invest more in education, health, and housing.

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As a member of Namibia’s minority Herero group, Esther Muijangue knows how important it is to break the status quo. “I have never been conforming to the norms of my community,” she said. Esther is breaking barriers in a community “where women are expected to have their places in the kitchen.” Dressed in traditional Herero attire, the presidential candidate spoke of not only women empowerment but also gay rights and legalising abortion.

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Restoring Dignity To Namibia

Esther Muijangue spoke about her bid to “restore dignity” to the country’s 2.45 million inhabitants. Namibia has been struggling through an economic recession after nearly 30 years of independence from South Africa. On Saturday, she said, “You hear a lot of people complaining about the (ruling) SWAPO-led government.”

SWAPO, or the South West Africa People’s Organisation came to power when its founder, Sam Nujoma, won the first democratic election in 1990, after years of war against colonial rule. Since then, it has remained in power. However, under the government of President Hage Geingob, who was elected in 2014 people have experienced their dissatisfaction with SWAPO. People criticised Geingob for expanding his cabinet at the expense of other sectors. Moreover, the party has historically failed to redistribute wealth equally throughout the black majority population in the country. This has made Namibia the second most unequal country, according to the World Bank. This is despite its abundant mineral reserves, fish industry and booming tourism industry.

Dressed in traditional Herero attire, the presidential candidate spoke of not only women empowerment but also gay rights and legalising abortion.

Esther Muijangue spoke about how Namibia “was like a full glass of water” but “the first president brought it down half, the second drank further. So when Hage took over we were already in the mess that we are in today.” According to her, there was apathy in the youth but it is not so anymore. “Now you see at every rally … more and more young people coming on board.”

Esther Muijangue’s Promises

According to Esther Muijangue, Namibia has the resources to take care of all its needs. However, she says, the government is corrupt. “Top leaders … are selling the land, they are selling the country, they are selling mines to foreigners,” she said. Muijangue promises to cull the corrupt and bloated government as well as invest more in education, health, and housing.

Although NUDO only received 2 percent of the vote in 2014, while SWAPO led with 87 percent, Esther Muijangue is confident they will do better this time. She believes that the disgruntled population will vote SWAPO out of power by breaking their two-thirds parliamentary majority. “We are expecting a lot of miracles to happen this year,” said Muinjangue.

Picture Credit: AFP Africa

Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV 

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