Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Role of Youth in Zambian Society & Nation Building


Zambian youth

As we celebrate Youth day, we saw it fit to praise the youth of Zambia. World over, the youth have been the pillar and backbone of the nation, even from ancient times. The 2010 Zambia Population Census shows that a large proportion of the Zambian population are in the youth age range, and therefore Zambia fits to be deemed to have a young population, a youthful population.

Being the majority, therefore brings with it power and responsibility upon those that yield it. Youths can change the future of the society they live in, define the future they wish to live in, and can do so with their courageous behaviour and steadfastness even in the face of hardship.

In 2011, the youth of our nation, tired and worn-out by the burdens of poverty, disease, hunger, starvation, corruption and unemployment, perceived and real, which characterised the most part of the MMD’s 20 year reign, stood together and showed the entire world the power which they possessed and chose a leadership which was expected to address the burdensome concerns of the previous 20 years.

Unfortunately, even today, many of our youth are still faced with the same troubles, trials and tribulations of the past, even more so. However,the high expectations leading to 2011 have been met with deaf responses, and the Zambian youth today continues to break stones along Kafue road to earn a living.

Access to proper health care and education remains elusive, and in such a harsh environment, the lone abandoned youth builds interest in places and ideals which may lead to self-destruction, and find themselves in places not useful to them as well as nation development.


A passerby helps a Lusaka youth lift an intoxicated colleague along Ibex Hills road on Independence Day
A passerby helps a Lusaka youth lift an intoxicated colleague along Ibex Hills road on Independence Day

The Zambian youth, after a struggled day may take solace in binge alcohol drinking; spend nights partying, drinking, and make headlines for the Weekend Porn Newspaper.

But let it be known, this is not our ideal path in life, we wish better for ourselves. To the older generation, however, this is perceived to be a lack of morals among the youth, a lack of vision and lack of dreams, and a lack of self-drive. We strongly deny this, for if we the Zambian youths did not have dreams, ambitions, drive, and good expectations for ourselves, we would not have voted MMD out of power, we would have assumed all was well and life would have gone on. Our dreams and ambitions for a better life ignited the desire which saw the PF come to power. And likewise, once the youths’ ambitions and desires are not met, the fate of 2011 to MMD may be the only feasible option among all to PF in 2016.

We believe that the vision of our country lies in the hands of our youth and thus cannot be formulated without their participation or representation. Our Zambian youth are filled with remarkable and enormous ambitions. It will be a great wastage of human resources if these youths are not given an opportunity to exercise their talent in the development of this country and shape the future of our society.

Fear the Tiger cub


Unfortunately, a large number of our youths are without proper guidance and opportunities for their future. Many roam the streets in search of a living, others, living on the streets. If you take a drive or walk to Manda Hill Bridge or ZESCO Bridge in the evenings, you will see the other side of our society: Young energetic Zambians sentenced to permanent suffering, abandoned and seemingly ignored by the very country and its leaders they have hope in. These will grow to be men and women, but let us ask, of what calibre? Remember, ‘Fear the Tiger cub, though young, it will grow, and when it does, chaos may arise’. It is thus dangerous to allow our youths and street kids to remain idle as it would increase their frustration which would result in chaos and disturbances in the future.

There is a strong and dire need for succession planning with regards the affairs of our nation, and all our affairs. The role of the youth in national development is becoming able to replace the older generation as they age. This means the youth should be given the opportunity of a relevant education, and employment opportunities, in both public and private sector, to gain the relevant experience. This is the only way we can be preparing our nation for the future generation. With that in mind, it is important to note that this nation will outlive all of us, and it is our responsibility to prepare those that will pass it on to their youths when we are long gone. We must look beyond individual legacies, and develop a broader national vision, a national legacy.

The youth have a choice


While our youths had in the past been used as frontline soldiers in our politicians’ quests for power, there seem to have been a neglect of the youths’ services once such take the wheels of power. History has shown that this can only be done at their own peril, as the real power still lies with the youths. But there is also a need for an awakening realisation among the youths with regards the enormous power they have. They must get control of this power and use it for their betterment. The government must on the other hand must motivate our youth. Rights and responsibility must be taught alongside national goal setting.

Many a time we have instilled fear among ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously of our perceived inferiority of our experience in our eyes, or indeed perhaps more in the eyes of others of the older generation that may not have taken us much seriously in our quest for a better youthful Zambia. We have a choice, however: We can allow yourselves to stay our current unhappy course and do nothing, for fear of being fixed, or we can rise above what the pessimists around us expect and show the older generation that they are wrong about us. Let them know we have intelligence and high skills. Let us show ourselves what we are made of with motivation, dedication and unyielding resolve for that which is just. Let us have in mind that nothing can happen if we do not try.
The entire success of the nation depends on the youths. However, in order for continuous success to take place; it is the Government’s responsibility to provide the youth with proper facilities for getting equipped with the knowledge of the modern era.
Youth is the spring of life. It is the age of discovery and dreams. They have the power to transform the nation into a better place. Let us not forget to say that while the government ought to provide ‘rights’ for the youths to flourish, youths too have a responsibility. For some unknown reasons, youths have underplayed themselves in the field of the politics yet they are strongest forces in social movements. As long as the youth, who are the most educated continue to shun politics and public life, the old, and seemingly uneducated will continue to govern the country and decide what is good for youths!
Let there be no doubt about the strength, power and capabilities of the Zambian youth Let us determine our own course of destiny.
Happy Youth Day.

By Hjoe Moono


    • Any country can survive having chosen a f.ool as their leader.But history has shown time and time again that a nation of f.ools is surely doomed.

    • Every elaborate drawing, No 1, Michael Sata, Guy Scot, Winter and the PF in General, I wish they can pull their heads from the sand and see this picture. UNIP and MMD used to think that us the people were standing on the opposite end but they were wrong. PF is even more arrogant. Most of us have already walked away from that Sea Saw and PF is about to plunge.

  1. No 1 is one of those few chaps planted to dislike any article or report that is assumed to be against his employer. He is one of the youths leading a life of a chola boy. Unfortunately many youths are being used jst like that all becos of lack of proper employment. They force themselves to stop thinking objectively. We the youths have power to kick out those that cheat the pipo. Those that cheat us. These are pipo that have dragged Africa behind. Time is ticking n genuine youths are watching n speaking less. They knw were their power lies.

  2. I’ve never seen a person who is hard at hearing like Sata; honestly, in all fairness, how on earth would a person like whole of Sata abandon the cries of the youths, dupe them into believing in his 90 days theory as well as the money in your pocket N o n s e n s e!?
    As if this is not enough, he goes on to resurrect old people from various grave mouths to come and loot for the last time! all in the name experience. If he doesn’t want to work with the youths because he perceives himself to be old, why not retire
    I W E Sata?

    • The writer pointed out this ” For some unknown reasons, youths have underplayed themselves in the field of the politics yet they are strongest forces in social movements. As long as the youth, who are the most educated continue to shun politics and public life, the old, and seemingly uneducated will continue to govern the country and decide what is good for youths!”

      I have always and will always laugh at people who think PF should appoint them just because they are of a certain stature. Most capable youths shuned the PF as a party of ‘kaponyas’ . How do you expect them to appoint you after they win when you did not participate in the campaign? Even in the corporate world, the founders of companies ensure that they have clauses that do not leave them vulnerable to be dislodged…

  3. The ernegietic youth, full of stamina, hope and dreams. Where there is poverty crime crops in as a sense of survival. How can we tap into the youth? They can achieve a lot for the slow thinking adults who can’t even run quickly in this fast and furious societies. The neglected youth can run enterprises faster, can be in the army and they are fearless, they can harnessed for any noble cause by rightly thinking adults. They are the unused bricks we need in national building, why let the languish in streets? There is plenty of money to engage all our youth national wide. Just 13million people. How much from copper? We can surely empower the youth only if adults are not too greedy and selfish at the expense of our youth. Mwalya mweka Daddy, help the youth. Empower them.


  5. The number of comments on this thread is scary.What do the young people have to say? Do we only have an opinion on useless articles like a press statement by George chella,an insult by Guy Scott, someone defiled, or when there is Presidential comedy? Wake up young people.The future is yours, the older generation has lived ,its your time to have a say.

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