The President delivered a speech that I believe met the expectations of all Malawians, save the young people.
I wish the speech becomes a reality. Malawi will never be the same.
This is what I picked, "I call upon all Malawians of all walks of life; rich or poor, urban or rural, educated not educated, employed and unemployed, boys and girls, sick and healthy, small business and big business, freinds and enemies, vendors and financiers, lomwes, tumbukas, chewas, senas, ngonis, yaos, all of you, come, come and join me in efforts to lead and develop this country. Let us unlock our skills. Let us unlock our spirits. Let unlock our ability to be free and free we shall be indeed"
But there is very little focus on the majority who have the key now to changing the course of the country's social, political and economic destiny.
Before technocrats shout at me and point at Education, vocational skills and YEDEF, I ask them to hold their patients. The speech failed to directly address the young Malawians on their needs, it failed to inspire them hope that they are part and parcel of new Malawi.
The Youth I mean, are the ones that were dancing outside Parliament, the young people that are now loitering at Mchesi, Kawale, Katoto, Chikangawa, Malosa trading, Thondwe, Edingeni, Marka, Limbuli, Phodogoma or even Neno.
The young people who are thinking of getting married and starting a life without any idea of what the future holds.
Yes, she spoke about the new Malawi where everyone qualified will have a chance of opportunity.
She spoke of a Malawi where unity, equity and development are core values.
But Madam President, the Youth of Malawi have remained the most neglected and all their initiatives have been politicised.
The President has appointed many advisers and aides, I am yet to be told who is representing the Young generation at the State House. By representation, I mean both in quality and strength. I mean someone with rich ideas and with clout to move and shake the future of the youth of Malawi.
The Ministry of Youth has been reduced mainly to the Ministry of Sport. The initiative like YEDEF was heavily politicised and young Malawians failed to play any role in defining what really we wanted from the fund.
Someone decided to import welding, carpentry and other quite outdated machinery.
I am glad that the Ministry of Tourism seems to be the only Ministry that is moving with time when it speaks of Film Industry and Animation skills, the same too with the Department of Information Management. We are speaking the language of the modern youth.
The speech was long yes, but women got at least something out of it, the girl child got something out of it.
The many social challenges Malawi faces today, hinges on this country's ability to galvanise this young generation to use their energy into working productively.There are many skilled young people in Mangochi, Mwanza, Ntcheu, Zomba, Salima, Nkhatabay, Mzimba and Karonga who were itching to learn how their skills will be utilised.
Investing in a multi-billion stadium is good, but when that group of young people play football and netball but cannot make the meaningful careers, we have a huge problem.
On July 20, it was the young people who clearly expressed their frustrations mainly about their economic status. Vendors, as JB rightly put it attitudes towards society sometimes indicates the deep rooted challenges that young people face.
The speech could not have contained much yes, but find a space for the Youth of Malawi that we can equally have a crucial role in addressing the challenges.
Otherwise, we all have a role in the new Malawi, as long as we do not forget the most productive group.