Thursday, 2 February 2012

Contemporary Youth Leadership in Africa

Leadership is influence and there are no two ways about that. To be a leader one must have followers, and to obtain followers there should be something that attracts or draws them to him. In any group or society, leaders emerge. In any generation leaders crop up or at times circumstances make a leader. I will not dwell much on the question whether leaders are born or made but on the question whether leaders understand their duty especially the young leaders.
As i said we can never say a society is void of leaders, because in any place or space where people are influence is inevitable and as such a leader exists always. As a young person im worried more on the capacity building of the young leadership in Africa because this is where our hope lies as a continent. Quality control of leadership in young people in Africa does not exist at all, those that are leaders do not even know how they should handle themselves as leaders, and i wonder if at all they understand the gravity of their position.
My heart bleeds and the Patriotic citizen in me cries when i see the young leadership, that is , the contemporary leadership in Africa degenerating into all the bad examples of leadership our continent has experienced. There seems to be no change in the leadership styles in Africa and it seems as if we are sadly trapped in the vicious cycle of leadership that lacks the understanding of what their influence means, and how to use that influence and power for the common good of all men. There is a subtle difference, if any, in the emerging youth leadership and the leadership of the day.
I do not want to sink into the dogma of believing that Africa is incapable of creating great leadership. I believe that Africa has illustrous sons who have what it takes to transform this continent for the common good of her citizens. I believe that we have Youth Leadership in Zimbabwe and in Africa who are capable of redefining leadership in Africa and be a beacon of hope for our next generation. I believe that the contemporary leadership of the day can decide to do away with all the vices that plague leadership, to have a leadership that does not corrupt with the amassing of power but a leadersship that wields that power and influence for transformation and growth. A leadership that has principles and ethics and is people centred and not power centred. A leadership that believes that a position of power and influence is not a priviledge but an opportuniy to serve, and so serve with all their might.
In the words of popular Black American Activist, Martin Luther King, i too will say that,

'I have a dream, I have a dream to see the continent of Africa give birth to leadership that is not measured by the magnitude of position they hold but by the positive change they make for all mankind . I have a dream to see the young men and women of colour taking charge of their destiny and leading the african sons and daughters to the promised land right from the Cape to the Pyramids of Cairo. I have a dream in which Africa, the cradle of mankind, is also the Birthplace of great, astute, noble and people serving leadership. I have a dream.
lastly we can never claim to be leaders, unless and until we focus on theinterest of our people.

By Glen Dhliwayo

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