Youths don’t need Twabam jokes to like you-ED told


DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, I sincerely hope to find you well, Mr President, knowing that this has been a week like no other, where you had a lot on your plate.

Last week, you launched your book written by former MDC senior executive Eddie Cross that sparked debate as it was viewed as a public relations stunt and of course it was a week where Zimbabweans were supposed to dance to the music of Kofi Olomidé and Roki.

But typical of an evening of dance in a society that has never danced before, people ended up stepping on each other’s toes.

What a fight it was over the song on social media and other circles, understandably so.

The Kofi-Roki Patati Patata duet, Your Excellency, has divided opinion with critics saying the otherwise innocent production was spoiled by the mere mention of your name by the internationally-acclaimed musician.

In case you are wondering why that had a boomerang effect, Your Excellency, that was an expression of anger by the youths for so many reasons.

The suspicion, Your Excellency, is that part of your bigger plan was to use some dubious youthful characters to lure youth votes ahead of the 2023 elections.

Ever since your companionship with the United States-based Passion Java was exposed by your “sweet potato” breakfast at State House, the suspicion was that you were convinced that the comic prophet was magnetic enough to lure the much-needed youth vote.

That, we are told, was inspired by the fear that your nemesis Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance could harvest all the votes given his age advantage and appeal to them.

Understandably, your ecstatic aides flooded social media in support of the Kofi-Roki duet, particularly the part where your name was mentioned in the rhumba song that has reached over three million views within a week of its release on YouTube.

Your advisers may have advised you that the only way to a starving, jobless and angry youth’s heart was through the strumming of guitars by hired foreign music gurus.

The reality is that the youths in their millions want jobs.

They want to be inspired by youths of moral standing whose sources of income can be traced and not suspicious characters whose only known source of income source is mutilated glossolalia.

Youths cannot enjoy music, which mentions your name, without you addressing their issues and while they wallow in the debris of a destroyed economy.

You cannot starve youths and try to use music to win their vote, it won’t work.

Youths rightfully feel they are neglected and the Cabinet minister you appointed to be in charge of their affairs has been woefully aloof since 2018.

They remain abandoned as they are victims of policies hostile to their livelihoods.

Youths are the majority of people whose livelihoods were affected by the recent needless demolition of their market stalls by your lieutenants. They remain victims of a collapsing economy and poor education policies, and no amount of guitars and dancing can cure that.

Your Excellency, we have so many youths in the music industry who are wallowing in abject poverty and the COVID-19-induced lockdown has not spared them. And again, Your Excellency, these youths in the arts sector were supposed to be beneficiaries of the grant your government said had provided for them which we are told by the Auditor-General Mildred Chiri was looted mainly by government officials.

The youths need no Twabam jokes to like you.

They can fall in love with you any second if you come up with the right policies which shape their future.

Why not create jobs for them as you promised in your homecoming speech after the November 2017 coup?

I tell you, Your Excellency, that will be a massive campaign strategy more potent than mention of your name in a musical video.

Youths are innovators and another way you could have lured them is to initiate a vibrant and youth-friendly information communication technology policy that incorporates their innovations.

We are in an economy that is highly digital and that should be the focus if you ought to take the youths on board.

In case it was not clear why the mere mention of your name by Kofi invoked so much anger, now you know Your Excellency.

The youths are not happy, they expect more action than words from you.

Moses Matenga is a NEWSDAY reporter


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