Mini Moments with Big Thinkers: Nahas Angula ☆

| May 13, 2013

Nahas Angula, MA ’78, EDM ’79

Apartheid limits the life chances of its victims, but perhaps even more damaging are the limits such a system places on people’s aspirations and their sense of their own potential.  Nahas Angula (Ed.M., 1979; M.A., 1978), former Prime Minister of Namibia, studied at TC on the eve of his nation’s independence so that he could return home and create a new education system that “proved the theories of apartheid wrong.”

Angula was born in Namibia’s Oshikoto Region and lived in exile from 1965 to 1989, working for Radio Zambia and the United Nations, before becoming an organizer for the Southwest Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). When Namibia achieved independence in 1990, Angula left Teachers College, where he was working on his doctorate, to return home as Minister of Education, Sport and Culture. In that role, and in the subsequent position of Minister of Higher Education, he rebuilt Namibia’s education system, using radios, cell phones and ultimately, computers, to reach the nation’s diverse and widely scattered population of roughly two million people. In 2005, he was elected Prime Minister, the second most powerful position in Namibia’s government, and in 2012 became the country’s Minister of Defense.

In April 2010, Angula was awarded the Teachers College President’s Medal of Excellence at the College’s Academic Festival, where he delivered the keynote address, “Out of Apartheid and into the 21stCentury.”

To learn more about Nahas Angula, read: