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'The ANC owes the youth'

26 Jun 2019 at 07:03hrs | Views
Mr Eric Shikobela
The first time I visited Freedom Park in Pretoria was in the year 2009. Until this day I remember very well how I felt that day. I had mixed emotions about the history of our country. The hurt of what black South Africans have been through, the selfless sacrifices and courage of our forefathers the freedom fighters, and the question of my role to better our nation for the next generation. I always knew that there was apartheid but that day I got a clear understanding and first hand experience of what really happened in our country. I guess that was the exact objective that the late President Mandela wanted Freedom Park to achieve in every young person. To know where we come from so that we may not take our freedom for granted.

That day I had a very strong feeling about our ANC. I was proud of what it stood for, and at that point I didn't know if I would want to be involved in politics or not but I definitely knew that if I were to decide to join politics in the future, without any doubt I would proudly join the ANC. Tell me who wouldn't want to be part of such a great political legacy? Which black child wouldn't want to protect and continue with what our leaders stood for? I knew that one day, I will have something to give to this beautiful and blessed nation. I knew that I must contribute by passing the gift of freedom to the next generation, and It all started with understanding what the ANC did for us as a nation.

Amongst countless mistakes done by the ANC, their main mistake was allowing power and greediness to stop them from politically empowering the youth, the next generation. The ANC has failed to invest in young black South Africans to lead the party, and the nation to greater heights post apartheid and that has been a very costly mistake. Everyone knows that "he who fails to empower the youth, has failed to empower his future."

The ANC has failed to selflessly involve the youth into political leadership, with the intention of grooming them to take over the leadership. For instance let us consider the political journey of honourable Julius Malema, all the years he spent devouted in learning and serving the ANC, how he vehemently spoke out against anyone who went against it and all his committed service to it. He was considered a prominent and substantial member of the party until the day he matured to his own ideologies that could have greatly contributed to the ANC's legacy. It was at that instance that the ANC thought he is no longer good enough for them, the mistake that cost them dearly until this day. No one can suppress the true sons of the soil, who believe in themselves. We learned from the best, we learned from them,  they refused the apartheid government to suppress them, what makes them think we will tolerate that from them? As it's said: "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Today many black South Africans have mixed emotions about the ANC they so cherished and loved back then. It's a battle in their minds between the good achievements of the past and today's heavy dissapontments. Wheather we agree or not, the future has to and will always be better than the past, we can't stay loyal to the past if it will compromise our future. It might be late, but it's not yet too late, it's not yet over.

The ANC can still fix things, the first step is to acknowledge faults and failures, because arrogance knows no success. Secondly,  bring young blood on board;  young, intelligent leaders who will bring forth solutions to racial issues, unemployment, state enterprises, health care and security. I humbly request his Excellency President Ramaphosa to save the ANC from itself. To create a political system that will easily allow the youth not only to be state beneficiaries but state builders. Mr President, you will be greatly surprised in what we can offer. Let the youth be involved in building a nation they will be proud of tomorrow!  

If the ANC allows pride to impede them from owning their faults, and rectify them. Then they will pay the ultimate price of losing what they fought, bled and died for, our priceless and hard earned freedom. I strongly believe that many South Africans still love the ANC, just like me but they are currently angry with it, and anger will lead our people into making decisions they will regret in the future. The ANC's legacy is too strong, and let us keep it alive forever.
I quote Chief Albert Luthuli: "We have no intention whatsoever of abandoning our divine right, of ourselves determining our destiny according to the holy and perfect plan of our Creator."

Source - Eric Shikobela
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