Define your struggle, activist tells youths

ACTION Aid Zimbabwe director Joy Mabenge has challenged youths to shape their revolution if they want to change the country’s political and economic environment.

BY SINDISO DUBE

Speaking on the formation and consistency of movements at Activista Zimbabwe’s annual conference in Gweru, Mabenge said youths’ agenda usually fails because of lack of direction.

“Today’s youths have the task of defining and shaping their own struggle if there is hope for a change from the status quo, which has crippled the young people politically, economically and socially. Our forefathers fought a strong colonial system. It was not easy, but through shaping their struggle, they succeeded. They knew they were not fighting only Ian Smith, but a system which was birthed by Smith and others. Smith was just the image behind a draconian system,” Mabenge said.

“That’s the problem we had as Zimbabweans when we demonstrated and celebrated the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe last year in November. We forgot that Zanu PF is a system rooted in principles. We thought Mugabe was the problem and by removing him from power, we would be free. We were wrong, Mugabe represented a system which is still alive and is now stronger. So I urge movements, especially led by youths to own their struggle and shape it accordingly, knowing what they are fighting and fighting for.”

Activista spokesperson, Alistar Pfunye said youth should take charge of their destiny.

“As youths, let’s control our destiny. We can’t have the same old people, who are three steps from their grave, define our future and our children’s future. Our children and grandchildren will hold us accountable for all this, and we shall find no answer,” Pfunye said.

“Let’s unite for a common cause; let’s desist from watching and not doing anything about the problems we are facing now, which will have a negative effect in the long run. The future is for us the youths; we should control the present for us to enjoy the future.”

Activista is a global youth empowerment lobby group made up of youth activists working with artists, filmmakers, musicians and with partner student lobby groups to create powerful campaigns.

The organisation empowers and enables young people to actively participate in decision-making and political processes.