What Youth can learn from Malala Yousafzai?

Written by: 
John Blanshe Musinguzi

On Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Pakistani Malala Yousafzai and Indian Kailash Satyarthi in recognition of their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

I am only interested in Malala-the youngster. Her name will be inscribed in many history books as the first teenager to win this prestigious prize. At the age of 17, she is the world’s number one prodigy. Her ability to speak for the voiceless, marginalised Pakistanis children is exceptional and outstanding.

It is because of her deeds that in October 2012, she was shot in the head by the Taliban gunmen. This is the token of appreciation they (Taliban) had for Malala in recognition of her effort to speak for the voiceless.

She started speaking about education rights for fellow children as early as September 2008. Her efforts were recognised by Pakistan's prime minister who awarded her the country's first National Peace award and a reward of around £3,300 in 2012.

We (youth) take a large portion of Uganda’s population and the future of this nation belongs to us. We have been marginalised as elders cling to positions of authority. We don’t have to wait to access influential offices to offer our services to Uganda as a nation. Malala is not even a school head prefect but her name is now chanted numerous global leaders.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in response to Nobel Peace Prize termed her as “brave and gentle advocate of peace who through the simple act of going to school became a global teacher. She said one pen can change the world – and proved how one young woman can lead the way...” that her class now and she a global figure.

We need to change our mindsets and believe that as young as I am or your, we have a lot of services to offer to our families, societies, countries and the world at large. No need to wait for tomorrow because it will never come.

I was challenged by Miria Matembe recently. She was speaking at School of Law (Makerere University) in a dialogue to celebrate 19 years of Uganda’s constitution. Matembe simply said that she has nothing to offer to Uganda. She offered her services in her youthful period. She emphasised that she has nothing to offer for this nation. Why should we wait to grow up?

Where can we start from? Anywhere even in our villages because there no need to travel to Kampala or other cities to be listened to. Malala started her activism in Swat District of Pakistan's north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

We need to identify problems or situations that we can improve anywhere and endeavour to give in all our efforts believing that such efforts can create positive impact. We can source of joy and light to our societies.

In between me and you lies Uganda’s, Africa’s and even World’s next Malala. Let us take up the courage to exploit our potentials.

John Blanshe Musinguzi is an undergraduatestudent of Bachelor of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University

Email: johnblanshe77m@gmail.com

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