For the young, a new future beckons

For the young, a new future beckons

By Adelaide Moyo, HARARE, November 22 (The Source) – Every year, an estimated 300,000 graduates walk out of Zimbabwe’s 16 universities and extensive technical college network annually.

On November 4 this year, I was one of them. And Zimbabwe’s floundering economy, starved of investment and job creation, can scarcely absorb enough young job seekers.

The future did not look so enticing but thankfully, I had just started my six month internship at The Source. So for the meantime, my attention was on learning the trade of financial journalism but beyond that, I did not know what would happen.

Most of my fellow graduates are not so fortunate, stuck in a rut of joblessness, and despair.

November 21 changed that, because the one omniscient presence in my life and the cause of our collective despair, Robert Mugabe, finally quit as president, giving us hope that maybe there is an alternative future in this beautiful country which was tilting towards sunset the longer he remained in office.

As youths, we have borne the brunt of Mugabe’s suffocating regime which has destroyed much of the country’s industry and left use desperate. According to a survey by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), we are among the world’s poorest, living in an extremely difficult environment.

The unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is around 90 percent and 95 percent of those without formal employment are the young in the 18 to 24 age group. That has to change.

So when the news of Mugabe’s resignation flashed onto The Source twitter feed my heart skipped several beats. I was breathless, I felt elation, I was euphoric.

As his resignation dragged on even after the army had rendered him powerless, one expected him to pull one last rabbit out of a hat — not that I have ever seen him putting on one — and somehow remain in power.

When the Monday noon deadline imposed by his ZANU-PF party to resign or face impeachment came and went, my heart sank even more. Its time to revive plans to go back to school for an MBA as many of my colleagues were plotting were, and eventually skip the country like millions of others before me.

Then the bolt from the blue on Tuesday.

President Mugabe resigns, flashed the tweet at exactly 1740. And my new life flashed before me like a rainbow after a prolonged rainy period. I know about the potential of this well endowed country in a post-Robert Mugabe period, a subject that has dominated our diary briefs lately.

I am nervous but at 23, I have a lifetime of dreams and opportunities again ahead of me. Mr New President, don’t mess it up for us and the future generation. The future belongs to us, the children of Zimbabwe.