Millennials must take up Political Leadership


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By Nkateko Mabasa in South Africa

Millennials are facing an existential crisis of purpose. Growing up will mean taking leadership responsibility for our own communities. Unbeknownst to most of us, this is the future we are the leaders of!

It is clear to all of us that Millennials are struggling as grown-ups. We are adulting but we seem to be stuck in the process. Most of us are wallowing in our depressions, in unemployment, some are working precarious jobs, while others are battling childhood and present-day traumas.

Our elders, on the other hand, are busy selling off our oil, and our gold and they are depleting our natural resources. They are pretending to be fixing a healthcare system they’ve neglected for years while holding on to seats of power in their old age.

It is no longer enough for us to protest in the streets anymore. As Millennials in Africa, we need to organise ourselves in a different way. We need to take up Political Leadership.

For sure, we can protest for these things. But we are still asking them to attend to our problems. And the results of our street protests are always ambiguous – ending at a Commission of Inquiry that goes nowhere. We need to do it ourselves. Politics is running the country. And politics is what we, as  Millennials, have long neglected and need to get involved in.

Remember, this is the future we are the leaders of!

In my opinion, we should focus our efforts on Four Fundamental things: (1) eradicating Poverty, (2) defeating the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, (3) protecting the environment from further degradation, and (4) restoring People’s confidence in Democracy.

Currently, we are in the midst of a Biomedical crisis, and like Millennials, we are the only ones who have the technical know-how to fix the problem. We need to collaborate on our creative ideas, and use State Infrastructure to solve the problems troubling our society. Corruption won’t go away unless we face it.

I encourage you to join me and run for political office. Change the world from where you are in your community. Whether you are in the Village, Informal Settlement, Township, Suburb, or Metro. Look around. What can you do to help the elderly, and children, and youth, and our mothers and fathers?

In South Africa, we are headed to our Local Government Elections later this year. I urge you as Millennials, to consider taking up Political Leadership in your own community.

Fellow Millennials, we are facing a crisis: our elders want to remain forever young and the youth do not want to grow up!

But we must remember, we are the leaders of today!

“True leadership demands complete subjugation of self, honesty and integrity, uprightness of character, courage and fearlessness, and above all a consuming love for one’s people” – Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

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