In December 2013, I was a fresh young undergraduate, pondering my connection to my homeland, Zimbabwe, and feeling frustrated at the level of hopelessness that I was observing among young people. I remember wishing that there were more creative and constructive outlets for the myriad feelings that young people had: the frustrations about their situations, fearfulness about the future, anger at the state of affairs and a simmering, quiet conviction that we, the youth, were the best hope our country had for turning the corner.
I founded The 1980 Alliance, a youth network and platform. The name was the result of coming to a dead end in my creative thinking, so I went for something straightforward; at the time of our launch, our target group was people who were born in 1980 and afterwards. And thus, The 1980 Alliance was born.
In December 2016, I feel it more keenly than ever – we, the youth, are the best hope our country has for turning the corner. Much has improved over the last three years, but unfortunately many of those positive developments, including a growing and thriving youth scene across a wide range of fields, will be overshadowed by political and economic failings in our country. There is a profound political crisis, as there always has been, and there is a deepening economic crisis. There are severe cash shortages, many young people are still unemployed and underemployed, industry has all but collapsed, our government is broke and the future is very uncertain.