Recently, I have started volunteering at my church working with high school learners around Johannesburg. During one of the times we had together, these teenagers started discussing the things they would like to do with their lives. Most of their dreams were focussed on a need in the world, and how their unique traits can add to the resolution of that need.
It was interesting to see how aware some of these young kids are of global issues. Problems such as:the bullying of smaller nations by larger nations for their own interests and how there is a leadership crisis in many nations, came up. They looked at their own talents and saw ways in which these problems could be solved.
It’s inspiring to see that there are people, with potential, who see a need, and in future may be the ones to eradicate such a problem. But it would be completely foolish to think that one of these individuals could walk out of their classroom now and lead a country. The passion and drive are there, but the skill set lacking.
Whilst reading the online news as I usually do in the morning, it was interesting to see how our Youth League president thinks it’s time that the youth take over the country and that young blood take over the leadership structures of the African National Congress. They have obviously identified problems and see a need for change, and believe that it’s time they took over and show the old guard how it is done.
What one doesn’t realise is that it takes more than passion, drive, and inspiration to lead a country. The role of government isn’t the politics that we see on television, i.e. the mass rallies, the mobilization of cadres and the handing out of food parcels. The role of government is to govern a country. Governing a country requires a specialised skill set, and a skill set needs to be acquired through experience and learning. This is the reason that there was a phased transfer of power when Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. The people who had acquired the necessary skills through experience remained so that a transfer of ability and competence could complement the transfer of power.
In Uganda, Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army sees a problem with the current government. The merits of his argument may or may not be flawed, but when a man who has had no experience of governing a people (except destroying and displacing a multitude of people) comes into power (as he wishes to do), what next? When a Youth League who doesn’t have much experience and involvement in the current governance of the country comes into power, what next?
The group of teenagers I volunteer with were advised to start using their unique traits in their areas of influence so that when their time comes, theywill have developed the necessary skills to be ready for battle. The Youth League should start gaining the skills required to lead a country and show the aptitude necessary, so when our beloved Julius finally becomes president, he will have the required aptitude and experience to lead our nation forward.