Elections on the horizon don’t offer many leadership options for Africa’s youth

sa-voteA fascinating article titled “Our youth deserve better” implores South Africa’s young voters not to be swayed by the current crop of party politic sentiments.

New registrations of voters in large numbers amongst the country’s youth, many who were young children when ANC came into power, has meant that the youth have become a force to reckon with in the upcoming general elections.

Solani Ngobeni the writer of the article poses several critical questions for South Africa’s youthful voters which indeed resonate for all Africa’s youth. For instance, a vote determining question should be: “who among our political belligerents represents the aspirations of the youth beyond sloganeering?”

Drawing the experience of youth power in elections from Obama’s “Yes we can” generation of youthful volunteers and voters, Ngobeni laments the pedestrian style of political campaigning in South Africa, as opposed to the Obama campaign that gained most of its momentum from the use of technology.

Though South Africa is the pre-eminent economy in sub-saharan Africa, political campaign merchandise is mainly based on the same old T-shirts and posters. Innovativeness in attracting new voters seems stunted in this area. Even the use of the free popular social network Facebook is half hearted. How can these old generation political players then get the attention of the new generation of voters, is a constant underlying question in the article.

ANC is peopled by the liberation from the apartheid regime generation. And the youth league which is similar to Kenya’s moribund Youth for Kanu, has been mainly used as a conduit to attain more political clout and acquire immense wealth by its office bearers. This has alienated the youth from the party political machine that is the ANC. Even the new entrant Cope is just as mired in aspirations and values of the pre-liberation generation.

Ngobeni’s imploring that South Africa’s youth “deserve someone who is living their lot. They deserve an erudite and articulate young leader, free of the baggage of exile, the UDF and Robben Island” is a message for all Africa’s youth when selecting their leaders.

The war has been won and liberation parties should learn to live and campaign in the present freedom.

Read “Our youth deserve better” here.


About yipe
Yipe an acronym for the Youth Interactive Portal for Enterprise is an organization that assists entrepreneurs to start up and manage their small businesses.

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