Youths have what it takes to democratize Zimbabwe

Last week turned out to be a very progressive and successful week for me. Not only was I engaged in processes that left me inspired but was also left in a place where I am confident that nothing that has a beginning definitely has an end. To this effect, I was made to reflect on the importance of the youth in social transformation and in particular in political leadership. Young people have the energy, time and creativity that can get Zimbabwe to the next level. They are the leaders of both today and tomorrow and if they are to leave a lasting legacy, they have to take matters into their own hands and begin to see to it that Zimbabwe is once again restored as the bread basket and jewel of Africa. So how can this happen?

Firstly, it is important for young people to realize that this is the information era and that if there is going to be any meaningful transformation, then the young mind has to be well informed. Being the "Google generation", the work before the youth is very easy because everything that is needed is a simple click away. In that regard, young minds should be kept activated and creative by gathering as much fact and information as is possible so that when they begin to stand up and speak, the content of their engagement is worth the light of day. Moreover, being conversant with new information technologies is a plus that could help the youth get activism to the next level and not to mention political activism. I will not bore you with what this did to Libya, Egypt and other areas. Let us cease the moment as the Google generation.

Secondly, there is no way that young people can become agents of change if they are to wait for space to be given or created for them! It is high time that young people demand, "grab" or even create spaces that will enable them to creatively engage across racial, social, political, economic and intellectual divides so as to create a greater vision for Zimbabwe. It is when young minds begin to come together and decide what sort of future they want to see in as far as Zimbabwe is concerned that action is generated. No one will hand it to the youth on a silver platter, it is the youth who can and must begin making the difference, one person at a time.

Finally, the youth should confidently stand up and take action on what is going on in Zimbabwe in the form of think tanking, activism, participation, impact and leadership. It is no use standing by and watching as different selfish players plunder the nation's resources whilst we wait to "grow up". Now is the time for you and me to wake up, smell the coffee and take a stand on how we want Zimbabwe to develop. Now is the time for young minds to do what they know best - get creative and make change happen. I get inspiration from Chipolopolo -that to me was a clear case of focus, desire to achieve and also hunger for victory. If they did it, the youth of Southern African and Zimbabwe in particular can ensure a total transformation of this circus defined nation. It is today, here and now that the youth of Zimbabwe can get this nation to the next level. Think of what you think will work form where you are and start doing it! To the rest of us, let us give the young people the necessary support so that they will leave a lasting legacy of getting Zimbabwe democratized once again"¦we can do this and do it now!

By Grace Chirenje-Nachipo, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition vice-chairperson

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