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A case for youth leadership 



American leader Chief Seattle once quipped that we didn’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, but borrowed it from our children. This, I presume, was a rallying call for a leadership that provides what is necessary for the present without compromising the resources for tomorrow’s demand.

It goes without saying that the future belongs to the young and the generations to come. Young leaders today have to choose between maintaining the status quo and forging transformative leadership. 

The Greeks got it right when they said that “a society is great when old men plant trees in whose shade they will never sit”. This is exactly how our leadership will be evaluated: did we just live for ourselves or also for the generations trailing us?

It’s true that young people, through orientation, have been ushered into a society with wrong values. Our society celebrates corruption and favouritism.

I do not ask the young people to discredit the senior leaders, but we must rise up to audit the leadership system, appreciate what has served us well, and dismiss what has not. Throughout history, progress has always been attributed to taking responsibility and making the necessary sacrifices.

No time in our leadership history has young people shied away from holding leadership responsible than now. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, young leaders and university students never stood back. Whenever the country faced crucial issues, its voice was always heard. 

Many leaders worth veneration today stood up for something progressive.

The young leaders of today must choose to live by ideological principles and not by party leaders’ approval, especially during this age when leaders are proving very insensitive to the next generation. 

Otherwise, sooner than anticipated, our boat shall start sinking, and before we notice, it shall be too late to save ourselves.

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