Zimbabwe: Takudzwa Kanyai

Zimbabwe: Takudzwa Kanyai

Date: May 13, 2021
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Change impacts positively when one is willing to change

“Voice and Choice of the youths is our guiding principle. As youths, we are now able to distinguish good from the evil which ensures behaviour change, laws, and policies.  We are now responsible youths of our community and a pride to the nation”.

Leadership, leader, leading.  The words were confusing me. I knew of a group leader in the class session. Leaders motivate and influence positive behaviour change. I realised and accepted that the word leadership is broad through Gender Links. I am now an integral part of society through Gender Links. I appreciate the benefits derived from Gender Links fraction of a second, surely it is greatest wonderful platform in my life so far. I was an introvert but now an extrovert.  I am in a position of holding meetings with large groups of the society and speak freely with a lot of confidence.

Gender Links natured me mostly by boosting my confidence. I became a referral point to my colleagues as I can handle youth related issues as a voice of the voiceless. I am transforming the lives other youths through the community dialogue. Several youth projects succeeded a great deal through the information I shared with the youths. The National Junior Councillors Association has also groomed and nurtured youths in my society for a better and brighter future. As a leader I do charity work in my community such as working in fields of the elderly and fetching firewood for them from nearby forests. I am also advocating for children friendly environment at school and community through campaigns on children’s rights. I created platforms for youths and children which encourage them to participate in different programs including local council development.

I have encountered some challenges but most of them were solved by the local council like the inability to hold campaigns due to covid 19 pandemic restrictions on gatherings and movements. To mitigate against this, I created whatsapp groups for youths to enable them to participate but a few did not because they could not afford smart phones and data bundles to access the platforms. Language was also a barrier because we use different languages at our school.  Some youths who were abusing drugs changed their behaviour through the online discussion foras we had with Gender Links and the National Junior Councillors Association.

Apart from being a junior councillor, I also have a poultry project which currently has more than five hundred birds. The project is doing well and I use some of the proceeds to assist youths at the school especially those who are studying academics to pay fees and for food.

I received training in grooming and etiquette. I can now dress professionally. I also learned from watching my fellow junior councillors. Once again, I thank Gender Links for the training.  I used to be an introvert now I am an extrovert.  I could not stand in front of class mates, to be specific a class of not more than fifty pupils to give a speech or a report and or an assignment but now being an extrovert, I can stand in front of a group of more than a thousand people of different calibre, all this I admired from Priscilla Maposa who could stand in front of us, looking at us directly in to our eyes without blinking. These skills highly impacted my life and will help me to participate in Young Gifted and Talented (YGT) on Zimbabwe Television.

My parents were surprised that I was able to manage a poultry project.  They are channelling more funds to the project because it is successful. My colleagues are also admiring the project and has zeal to be part of it. Before meeting Gender links participants, I used to spend most of my time doing, unethical and unacceptable practices such as hooliganism, and alcohol abuse. Thanks to Gender Links my parents are now proud of me.

Due to the experience and exposure, I acquired from my interactions with Gender Links, I am now an integral part of the community. When workshops are held in my community,  I am always called to participate or to give presentations. Recently World Vision Zimbabwe visited my community to get names of food program beneficiaries, our village head asked me to give a vote of thanks.  In my community I was nominated to be a youth leader, mentoring young boys and girls between the age of five to twelve. We have programs  in which we are involved  in , such  as  morning  jog,  football  club, learning  sessions, choir sessions  and an exciting  and charitable  program  in which we assist the elderly,  widows, orphans,  child headed  families and the physically  impaired in their  fields.  Recently we weeded Gogo Simbabure’s field with  my group .

The road to success has been a learning process though it has not always been easy. Thanks to Gender links who through different fora managed to prepare us for future challenges. Words cannot express how thankful I am. I am still counting my blessings.