Inspiring youths

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:25:48 +0000


WHILE youth unemployment is the worst threat to national peace and security, the Zambian youth must rise above the ordinary challenges of life and learn to take charge of their own lives.

We are saddened by the way many young people in our communities have surrendered themselves to idleness, heavy drinking and drug abuse as the ultimate solution to what they see as lack of Government support, unemployment and family breakdown caused by the rising divorce rate, lack of parental guidance and the calamity of HIV/AIDs.

As the youths of Zambia this weekend celebrate their day under the motto ‘‘Unity and innovation for a smart Zambia’’, we urge them to consider the wisdom behind the words of Patriotic Front national youth chairman Stephen Kampyongo that youths must ‘‘inspire themselves before anyone can inspire them’’.

Mr Kampyongo, a fine example of a youth who struggled to free himself from poverty and joblessness to rise to the pinnacle of his political career, says Zambian youths must learn to think outside the box and concentrate on constructive endeavours that will add value to their lives and the lives of their peers.

The greatest gift by our forefathers to today’s youth is the fact that they have been born in a society surrounded by huge opportunities for self-advancement and each one of them is touched everyday by an electronic or technological contraption they can use to earn a living.

Today’s Zambian youth is better educated, is provided with better health facilities and is fairly better fed than their parents when they were their age. There are far more nursery, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities in Zambia today than at any time in the past.

The country’s real economy and gross domestic product (GDP) have quadrupled compared to that at Independence in 1964 which was based on the handful of privileged whites who lived a lavish lifestyle amid grinding poverty by the black population.

In other words every youth of today has an opportunity to go to school, attain secondary education and aspire for tertiary or university education if only they try very hard. Those who cannot squeeze through to secondary school or university have the opportunity to find something practical to do to empower themselves.

In addition Government has created a myriad of opportunities for youths to pick themselves up from the floor and rise to a better life. The Youth Empowerment Fund, National Youth Action Plan and National Youth Policy have all been espoused by Government to give youths a new lease of life.

It is therefore a shame and disgrace that some of our youths have resorted to anti-social behaviour of taking liquor from sunrise to sunset under the pretext that they have nothing to do. They douse themselves with the fires of drug abuse, illicit sex and petty thieving to convince themselves that they are social outcasts.

Some of our university and college graduates, secondary school and basic education school-leavers are trudging the streets looking for work and blaming Government for not finding any. They forget that they were educated to use their brains and the value of their practical subjects to create opportunities for themselves to earn a living.

There are examples of graduates of Nortec in Ndola, Natural Resources Development College in Lusaka and the hundreds of agricultural, forestry and technical colleges in the country who are still ‘‘unemployed’’ three to five years after graduating. Instead of applying their knowledge and skills to earn a living in their communities, they want someone to take them on as employees.

This lack of self-enterprise and passion to use one’s own skills and knowledge to create something for oneself is what is killing the initiative of our youth and consigning them to the edge of destitution. They have forgotten, or do not want to accept, that they are the country’s greatest resource and the future.

We hope and pray this year’s Youth Day theme will unite and ‘‘innovate’’ the mindset of our youth for a smart Zambia that we all aspire for.



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