South Africa: Leaders must be exemplary to motivate youth.


By Zaid Khumalo


I am a 24-year-old student at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and my plan was to excel in political science with the hope that I would later impart my knowledge back to my people and my country.

But I have since changed my mind and I don’t want to have anything to do with politics anymore because I fear I will change from the person I am into someone else. The pressure of being a politician turns many people to speak with forked tongues and make promises they cannot fulfil.

I was born in 1994 and I grew up surrounded by the Mandela-mania that glued South Africans of all races into a rainbow nation. Many of my peers were highly inspired by the many doors that were opened for South Africans of all races to embrace one another under the theme of Ubuntu.

Looking back, yes, I can see the few strides the country has made towards a single, united and non-racial South Africa. But as a young black woman, I still see no progress beyond what was initiated by late former president Nelson Mandela.

To me and other young black South Africans my age, this past weekend’s celebrations by the African National Congress may have proved just how strong the party is in terms of support, but our leaders are still lagging in fulfilling the aspirations of many ordinary South Africans.

My simple young person’s comment is: As the youth, we need exemplary leaders who can inspire and motivate us instead of dampening our expectations. Politicians should give us homes and make us believe in the future by turning their promises into tangible results.

We are in 2018 and heading for the nation’s next elections. We cannot live on the same promises made by late former president Nelson Mandela in 1994.


Written by Agnes Sonti Mthembu


Featured photo credit: Inc via Getty Images.


This article was first published at Kathorusmail


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Published by

All African Youth Platform

We are Youth - Serving & charitable organization

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