Zimbabwean Youth and the indispensable quality of leadership:Hope

Human beings are naturally subjected to traumatizing circumstances, moments of frustration, demonization, emptiness and giving up. One wonders what kept men and women such as Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Joshua Nkomo and of late Morgan Tsvangirai going forward despite being exposed to immense opposition. The story is told of Martin Luther King Jnr. who was asked the question, “What would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end tomorrow?” I am sure many of us would have thought of our assets, repentance and spending our last denari for a noble cause. Luther’s answer was, “I would plant an apple tree today.”

Luther answered with hope, hope is about believing that it is worthwhile to plant an apple tree today, even when everyone is else is chopping down those apple trees for firewood. Likewise, our political leaders need to lead with hope. Hope that Zimbabwe can be restored to its status of being the bread basket of Africa. Hope is needed for the nation to prosper and it is paramount that we invest in the youth .The youth are the mainstay and future of any nation that thirsts for development .Like in the example of planting an apple the youths need to be “planted” or deeply rooted in developmental issues instead of “chopping them down” in the interest of personal gratification.

There is strongly no doubt that a nation like Zimbabwe needs to nature young people through an effective capacity building drive and the practice of visionary leadership. Over the years the youth have been said to be the leaders of tomorrow. This is arguably a political means of brainwashing and speaking on behalf on the youths and it is only unless and until we accept and view young people as leaders of today for a better tomorrow. The youth have been turned into voiceless beings whose duty is to follow instructions and a governing constitution that hardly carters for their developmental and leadership endeavors as witnessed by the presence of aged spent horses in youth leadership roles. There is need for young people to be proactive in nature so that they can influence policy makers. It is only when the citizen are proactive that they can believe it worthwhile to live and invest in Zimbabwe. Hope is cousin to faith which is the substance of believing in the things that we do not see. It is what the first black American president, Barack Obama possessed until the day of his historic victory.

The youth are the hope of Zimbabwe and as such, funding from the ministry of youth, academic scholarships, access to political information, technological advancements such as the internet and telecommunications should not be made sacred. Failure to even uphold basic human rights is tantamount to the “chopping down of apple tress” in a country that is politically becoming a sinking titanic. Like any country Zimbabwe is referred to as a she because it literary has given birth to people and amongst them are youths who have been orphaned as they are not recognized in national issues but are used as weapons of violence.
In a country that is so pregnant with minerals but is home to a poor majority that earns below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL) said to be $502.3 per average family of six .It is ironic and in sharp contrast to the abundant natural resources, an indication that our leaders have lost hope in their people hence they not investing in the country .It still remains fundamental for the nation to have hope and faith on the Inclusive Government. South Africa and Dubai have set good examples of reviving their economies. It only takes thorough self examination, hope and vision to stimulate positive change. Let us lead with hope. It is in light of the above that National Youth Development Trust seeks to influence policy makers into prioritizing the empowerment of the youth.

By Njabulo Moyo: NYDT

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