Today’s investors are not only looking at putting their money where their mouths are, they are looking at making impactful investments that can be future proof ready and can be agile in their responsiveness to something as sudden such as the current pandemic affecting the whole world. Immediate, driven, resourceful and impactful responses are centred around human capital. Globally, there are over seven billion people, young people are dominant. That’s the human capital investors should cast their eyes towards.
Casting eyes towards our young leaders takes current leaders with the resolve and vision to see a better world managed by the youth whose development, training and education was centred around conducive circumstances, all future looking.
In recent decades, global conversations have dominantly been around the need for young leaders in fields such as political leadership. Developments have not been encouraging here. We do see young leaders, but unfortunately male-dominated.
Across Africa, such a development is still a dream too far to attain. We see less and less women occupying positions of political power. We are encouraged by the uptake of more women in Business. These are woke women Business leaders hugely invested in taking their younger peers up the ladder – a welcome development.
In seeking political leadership, we can’t despair. We can’t afford to as we need more young female leaders taking charge at the echelons of power in politics as well as in corporate South Africa. That’s the future we see. That’s the future we are willing to fight for.
We will continue to up the ante as we work hard towards seeing young leaders rise in the ranks and doing so without any gender disparity or the discrimination we see towards mostly young, female leaders.
These are the kind of issues we at the New loveLife Trust (loveLife) have endeavoured to address, not only during Conferences that turn out to be talk shops but through concerted efforts that are action-driven by programmes that are on the ground. Talking to and working with young people as we identify the real issues of today and address the relevance, as we become issue-based, issue-resolution oriented.
With no dull day experienced in South Africa, we have seen how this year started with bumper news headlines. These are news headlines that hog our news platforms. Unfortunately, the headlines rage on as real issues on the ground continue to be ignored. These are real issues of our despicable economic inequality, gender discrimination, poverty, and unemployment.
This is a lot. It’s a lot that says South Africa’s twenty-eight-year constitutional democracy has a long way to go if we are going to develop a generation that can think differently when it comes to leadership. It’s also a lot as we work hard to focus on urgent issues that need investment towards impactful youth programmes, that deliver practically and don’t preach pie in the sky.
Famed Nigerian novelist, Wole Soyinka, aptly puts it: “When a leader encourages a culture of impunity, the society is lost, and it makes the work harder for the rest of us.” Its work made harder for younger generations that peril when leaders assume roles of responsibility, and turn those into rudderless ships.
With concerted focus, we can steer these ships out of stormy waters as we march hand in hand with our young, where we listen and allow to be guided when called out to do so. We can do so by calling and assuring investors that we will account for every cent spent. It won’t be an easy convincing. There is lots of work to be done as we take up the cudgels of belief, looking at the spark in the eyes of our young people, that they can truly fill the vacuum as they become imaginative leaders.
We would like to see a young, smart, and educated female president – ideally between ages of 30 and 40 leading one of our continent’s countries. Such is a possibility that can be achieved through honest and tough conversations that confront the failures around us yet look at the positive energy young leaders bring in a world that at times treats them as lesser human being deserving little. Currently, we are unfortunately at a stage where “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”
As loveLife, we will, once more, roll up our sleeves and look forward to working closely and harder with stakeholder investors as we curate programmes that are on the ground, peddled with the needed agility to address relevant issues.