Tsholotsho youths are optimistic that the new local authority leadership will have a positive impact on youth empowerment and the revival of the education system. Speaking to Community Podium, Shepherd Ncube a ward 7 youth said he is happy and satisfied with the calibre of leaders who made it to the local authority.
“I see quite a number of good councillors who have the capacity to initiate and implement community development. It is a step in the right direction to have people who have been engaged with community issues even before they assumed power. From the list of 22 councillors, a number of these successful candidates are ordinary citizens who are familiar with the challenges faced by community members,” he said.
Another youth, Lorraine Sibanda says the newly elected leaders have their work cut out for them.
“As Tsholotsho youths, our future hangs in the balance, seemingly forgotten by those in power. As a resident of this marginalized community, I have witnessed first-hand, the lack of representation and advocacy that the youth of Tsholotsho so desperately need and deserve. It is disheartening to see the indifference displayed by our leaders towards our struggles and aspirations.
Instead of championing our cause and creating opportunities for us to thrive, they have conveniently turned a blind eye, leaving us to navigate an uncertain future on our own. The absence of strong and dedicated leadership has left a void in our lives, rendering us voiceless and stifling our potential. Education is a fundamental right but has been chronically neglected in Tsholotsho.
Dilapidated school buildings, inadequate resources, and a severe shortage of qualified teachers characterize our educational landscape. The systemic failure of our leaders to recognize the significance of education in empowering the youth is nothing short of a travesty. With limited access to quality education, our dreams and aspirations are being crushed, leaving us ill-equipped to contribute effectively to the development of our district and nation,” she said.
Sibanda added: “Furthermore, the lack of investment in skills development and job creation exacerbates our plight. Young people in Tsholotsho face abysmal unemployment rates, forcing many to resort to menial and low-paying jobs that offer negligible opportunities for growth. This dearth of viable employment options perpetuates a cycle of poverty and hopelessness, as we are denied the chance to fulfill our potential and make meaningful contributions to society.”
Tsholotsho Youth Hub director Zibusiso Sibanda said a vibrant youth agenda is essential in shaping the future of any community.
“Sadly, over the years, in Tsholotsho, such an agenda is conspicuously absent. Our voices go unheard, and our concerns are dismissed as inconsequential. The dreams and aspirations of the young people of Tsholotsho are trampled upon by the indifference of those who hold positions of power.
We demand leaders who will champion our cause, leaders who will fight fiercely for our rights and opportunities. We are not simply statistics to be ignored or collateral damage in political battles. We are the backbone of our community, and our hopes, dreams, and aspirations must be prioritized.”
He also implored the local authority to invest in education and provide the necessary resources for the upliftment of young people. We need them to recognize the value of our talent and foster an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and job creation.
Sibanda said the future depends on the investments made in young people.
“We have the energy, the drive, and the determination to effect positive change, but without the support and guidance of our leaders, we are left spinning our wheels in the dirt. It is time for a new era of leadership, one that listens intently to the needs of the young people and acts decisively to propel us towards a brighter future,” she said.