By Tawanda Chenana
WE, in the village, were happy to see our youths, in their thousands, affirming their involvement and expressing their wish to increase participation in the development agenda.
Addressing thousands of youths during the National Youth Day celebrations, in Lupane, President Mnangagwa said: “I urge you, the youth, to ready yourself for the emerging economic prospects.
“All these projects in the province and across the country, coupled with the overall growth of the economy means that there will be no need for our young people to go to Egoli (South Africa) in search of employment.
“Young people are also urged to exploit the opportunities in the agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing value chains as well as in renewable energy sectors.
“You must not be spectators, think outside the box, innovate, collaborate and partner with each other.”
I felt proud to see our youths gathering in their thousands acknowledging the work being done to turn around the fortunes of our country and making it clear that they want to be actively involved in the development agenda.
And President Mnangagwa’s call for youths to get into all sectors of the economy must be taken seriously.
Our forefathers and mothers made great contributions to get rid of the colonialists who exploited Africans from 1890 to 1980.
Our parents grew up in Rhodesia.
Whites lived in secluded leafy western suburbs while blacks were in crowded and unsanitary locations; whites were served first in shops and blacks through small cubicles while standing outside.
The education for whites was made free and compulsory starting in 1930 and an apartheid educational syllabus for blacks was designed and implemented to contain the ambitions of the black majority.
In Rhodesia our parents lived a life designed by the settlers to deny us a decent life and reasonable opportunities for self-improvement and progress.
But not anymore.
However, when youths forget this history, this injustice, we shall not experience sustainable development.
As youths we must get out of stupors induced by drugs and neo-colonialism.
Youths must not be fooled by so-called Western democracy.
Western democracy has seen our nation groaning under the weight of illegal sanctions for more than two decades.
Their democracy starves the people, kicks them out of their jobs, manipulates a nation’s currency, refuses people access to finance, deprives them of medical drugs and equipment in their hospitals, have teachers and other professionals think that it is better to look for jobs outside the country.
Their democracy pours in millions of ‘so-called donor funds’ to the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), that have taken over the role of the missionaries, making black women and youths dance for a small vegetable garden instilling in their brains that they cannot do anything without Western handouts.
These NGOs never assist anyone to become a serious business person.
That has all been changed.
The ruling Party ZANU PF and Government continues to churn out empowerment programmes, which do not leave out the youths.
Youths must be proactive.
Zimbabwe is our country and it has everything we need to thrive.
It must be known by every youth that whatever the imperialists and their puppets are trying to do, that is, to try and disrupt and derail the development train, will fail.
I am disturbed and angry when I see youths frittering away their lives and controlled by drugs.
We have been given so much, inherited so much.
We have opportunities that a majority of our forebears never had.
All our youths have received education.
But the African notion of ‘being educated’ differs markedly from Western notions of being educated. Maybe that is why we have graduates that do not know what to do even as they claim to be highly educated.
The controlling philosophy of Western thought is simply, “I think, therefore I exist”, or, “I am because I think I am.”
It is clear from this dictum that Western philosophy is individual-centred, it is individualistic and self-serving and has not served our people and the youths in particular.
Clearly prime value in Western conception of education has been given to an individual where ‘being educated’ is regarded as an individual and personal achievement but this has left the youth in a limbo.
“Collaborate and partner,” President Mnangagwa has said.
This is the only sure way of success.
The African philosophy is collectivist in nature and is encapsulated in the concept of ubuntu/hunhu, “I am because we are; I can only be a person through others.”
Ubuntu/hunhu should be the model and basis for understanding education vis-a-vis development in our country.
To do away with delinquency, drug abuse lets us all embrace the African cultural paradigm which considers the needs of the group first, believing that in doing so, individual needs and desires will be met.
An educated person is educated or schooled in the values of his or her people and thus possesses the social skills that makes him fit in the society he or she is born into which he is expected to keep, cherish and nourish by his or her good deeds.
Our youths must of necessity personify unity of our people and live the values of our community in an exemplary way.
Real education is imbued with compassion, caring, sharing and responsiveness to the needs of the community as a whole.
Thus if we are truly educated we shall easily fight the drug scourge and reclaim our youths.