Nito Alves: His Courage is our Salvation
By José Eduardo Agualusa
I have a 16-year-old son. When I read the news of the imprisonment of young Nito Alves, aged 17, I couldn’t stop thinking that this could have been my son. Some of my best friends were 16 or 17 when they were captured shortly after independence because of their links to small far-leftist groups. A regime that locks up teenagers for the crime of thinking, which is what this case is about, is a regime doomed to fail.
A serious government, concerned with the development of the country, encourages young people to think. Young people capable of thinking for themselves, that is, of thinking differently, even to the extent of thinking against the dominant paradigms, must be encouraged and rewarded. A democratic society moves forward faster than a society in which the very source of new ideas is gagged by dictatorship.
I cannot agree, and I do not agree, with the terms in which young Nito Alves expressed his rebellion. Nevertheless, his rebellion is mine. His courage, however, is his alone.
While the cowardice of José Eduardo dos Santos shames all us Angolans, the courage of young Nito Alves saves us and uplifts us. Nito Alves, my son, our son – thank you!