It has often been said that youth are the leaders of tomorrow as young people constitute a large portion of the population in every community. According to the United Nations (UN), the youth make up one-fifth of the population of our world. Consequently, it is imperative to give them a voice and include them in political decision-making.
We had the pleasure of having a brief but insightful conversation with Mr. Leon Madonsa. The SRC Vice Chairperson of IUM Nkurenkuru Campus and, moreover, try to shine light on the aspect of young individuals involved in politics.
Mr. Madonsa isn’t your average student politician. He knows how to lead both in the political sphere and on the dance floor; trust me, I witnessed it in person. When he’s not catering to the needs that will benefit fellow students, he’s channeling that same passion into his music and performances that leave audiences in awe. In the upcoming sections, we’ll dive into Mr. Madonsa’s inspirations for politics and the obstacles he’s faced and advice he can provide based on his experience thus far.
When asked about his inspiration to become actively involved in politics at such a young age, Mr. Madonsa says he realised the need for more authentic politicians and leaders. Given all that is going on within the world of politics worldwide and even in our own country, the word “politician” has been tarnished by highly affiliating and associating it with corruption, he added.
True to his statement, in the past few years we have witnessed the exposure of corruption from our own African leaders, most notably Fishrot, which is a major corruption scandal in Namibia involving high-ranking officials who allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for fishing rights.
Additionally, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa was accused of kidnapping, bribery, money laundering, and “concealing a crime” in relation to the alleged theft of $4 million discovered hidden in various pieces of furniture from his Phala Phala Farm and Gold Mafia, which exposes the involvement of high-ranking officials from Zimbabwe in smuggling and money laundering, enriching themselves while plundering their nation.
In a landscape marred by corruption, Mr. Madonsa persists with an unshakeable commitment to his political dreams and reveals that what inspired him was to see if we can make a difference and see if we can mentor others to become good, authentic politicians. He highlights that we should be the change that you wish to see in the world, a famous quote that is often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.
In terms of obstacles that young individuals face when considering politics, Mr.Madonsa says, in his opinion, that political differences from opposition parties exist; even amongst the youth, there are those who are associated with unionism. He stated this specific obstacle because he finds it surprising that, as students or active youths in politics, we all stand for the same cause, so why try to divide instead of fighting together?
He hopes that the same energy used to fight each other can be harnessed into collaboration and better serve the youth at large. He further stated that tribalism is a nuisance, especially amongst some young leaders, as some are now elected based on tribes and not because of capability.
Politics can be a scary environment for many; however, Mr.Madonsa emphasised that if you really want to advocate for change, you should go for it, but preparation and honesty are imperative, as if you are not ready, then it simply means you are not yet ready for the political sphere.
This is how many get sucked into the wrong political coups that start to visibly control you by telling you what should be done and what you should do, and at the end of the day, you are not able to stand for what is right as they compromise the values that you stand for because you are not ready.
You Must Be The Change You Want To See In The World.Mahatma Gandhi
Many have leadership qualities but have a fear of getting involved with politics because of the disadvantages and pressures that come with the territory, and that’s the obstacle that many young people face, especially those who have the potential to bring about change, who are not involved in these political spheres due to fear.
A perfect case study for this would be the situation around Michael Amushelelo, who has been in custody for months. It can be intimidating, and the reward for politics makes it so hard to actively participate because of fear.
Youth are very active people who are allergic to waiting for too long on certain things (I know we can all relate to that). Most times, youth in politics are only there for consultation, and being there only for decoration is not beneficial as they barely have a major input in facilitating the change that they want to see.
If the youth get involved in certain decision-making, especially matters that pertain to their well-being, they will definitely get involved, and we want to see things materialise and not just be anticipated. If young people are actively engaged, then they need to be legally informed and taught how politics works, because if they are not legally informed, it can be detrimental and place them in unwanted or unpleasant situations.
Politics is a very dangerous game; therefore, you must be educated on politics and the law. You will know how to conduct yourself and better handle yourself, Mr.Madonsa added.
With regards to future plans, if all goes well, he wants to dive deeper into dealing with youth on matters that are not yet annotated, and since he is an action-oriented person, he hopes to initiate projects that make a difference in a detailed and practical manner and not just be achromatic and talk as most modern-day politicians do.
In conclusion, Mr. Madonsa advised the fellow youth that preparation is key: read books, watch the news, have somebody you look up to politically, monitor how they do things, and learn and practice from it. Anything in life can be learned and achieved. And to those without prior experience in politics, he added, they can use their experience, expertise, and education in a more positive manner through collaboration with others who share their passions and knowledge, as Leon believes, unlike Big Sean in that other song, that one person cannot bring about change alone.
Feel free to check out Mr. Madonsa’s music and performances on YouTube at @leoalpha137.