Open letter to fellow young Zimbabweans

Open letter to fellow young Zimbabweans
Published: 04 December 2017 (165 Views)
Dear young women and men of Zimbabwe, I feel the urgency to communicate to you on this day, and through this letter on three things; the state of our country, the prospects for the future, and what each one of us must do today to better our destiny.

Firstly, I commend all of you for the zeal you show each day for a better country. Every day, wherever I go, whenever I read your social media engagements, whenever I tune into the radio and TV- I see a generation which is passionate about their country! I also see young men and women who are tired and fed up of a country which does not work for them and a system which is disconnected from their daily realties.

The statistics are clear and are on our side! The median age of Zimbabwe is 20. More than 60% of the people are below 30 years of age, and over 65% below 35 years of age. The average age of our newly appointed cabinet ministers is about 65 and the young people continue to be side-lined.

Out of the many intelligent, young Zimbabweans with great potential, it is just one or two if any, who get appointed to become ministers- to represent this generation. Rather than demand for and take our place in shaping our country, the majority of us continue to beg for hand-outs from the minority- turning ourselves into subjects of patronage.

This is a serious cause of concern but surprisingly many young people continue to live in some bit of comfort which has made them complacent. Some are luckier than the majority in this country as there are employed and often feel comfortable just because they can afford some basics of life, and have totally become depoliticized. The temporary comfort has blinded them to the bigger picture and to the problems of our country.

In 1980 the colonialists handed over this country to our grandparents. As we are told, a working country was handed over to us. Newspapers of the time paint a picture of some kind of tropical paradise, of course with the nickname ‘Bread basket of Africa'. One could travel from Harare Street to Fourth Street in a few minutes straight without meeting a pothole, and all traffic lights in cities were functional.

Therefore, when our forefathers agitated for independence before and in 1980, their problem was not poor service delivery or a failed system. They were simply agitating for self-governance. They wanted to free themselves and their children from the indignity of being ruled over by the ‘white man.'

They understood that having good infrastructure, excellent service delivery and a functioning healthcare without political freedom and direct participation meant nothing. To them, it was important to have both economic development while at the same time exercising their God-given right to self-determination! They wanted a black man or woman on the steering wheel of the country because they thought ‘our own shall not betray us, our own shall not enslave us and our own shall be accountable to us, therefore Independence Day was celebrated with pomp and flair.

Youths! Our silence in the face of injustice is loud, our inaction is costly and many of us do not even vote! By so doing we do not only betray our generation and country, but the effects of a badly run country will soon catch up with us.

We are that generation, the grandchildren of the independence generation and the grandparents of the future generations, we must within ourselves find solutions, since our leaders don't seem to care for the next generation but instead care for the next general-election. We are the country, we are the future, we are the change we badly need, we are the youngest population in the world, we stand a chance, we are the leaders of the future and the future is today and if we only come together we can change our destiny.

Young people ended apartheid, young people marched against slavery, and yes, young people fought for Africa's independence. Therefore the struggle for a better country must involve all of us- men and women, young and old, from rural and urban areas, educated and not educated, all of us.
We must build a country which works for everyone where all young persons are proud to be called Zimbabweans and are not politically marginalized in their own land. We should always remember that there are some generations in this country which have been bypassed- which have not put any meaningfull contribution to the development of this country.
Clive Chiridza is a motivational speaker and social commentator who writes here in his personal capacity. He can be reached on chiridzac@gmail.com

- Clive Chiridza

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