“People Need to Have a Change of Behaviour from the Grassroots to the Top Level”

Unique is from Zimbabwe. As a Zimbabwean youth she has a passion and drive to make a difference through her contributions as a youth representative at the United Nations level. She strongly believes that the youth, as future leaders have a critical role to play inside and outside her country in shaping up the country’s future. Her GTF Mentor is Femi Oke.

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story! 

A: Zimbabwe is an ethnically diverse country with beautiful, kind, motivated and hard working people. Zimbabwe is a country rich with natural beauty. It has an abundance of wildlife and stunning scenery. To add to this, there are huge reserves of natural resources in the country, as well as some extremely productive land. Growing up I always felt the need to protect and defend.

I remember my friends calling me Oprah because I loved stopping and resolving conflicts amongst friends or even my siblings even though I would sometimes be the troublemaker (Chuckles). Through my father's motivation, I wanted to become a Human rights lawyer because I felt it was the best way to protect those that were vulnerable. As I grew up I realised that protecting and defending went beyond the courtroom. Protecting meant going down to the grassroots level and reaching out to those that were vulnerable and understanding was they are coming from and going and then being able to advocate for change. For me, it made more sense to come down from those high offices and courtrooms get into communities and talk and understand people and try to walk in their shoes. That is why today I am a Practicing Development practitioner, Peer educator, HIV and youth advocate, Producer/presenter(Orbit -International Youth Talk show) and volunteer. I am currently completing my Bachelor’s degree in Development studies at Midlands State University in Gweru Zimbabwe. I have been working as a volunteer peer educator working at a grassroots level with youth at Restless Development, a youth organization that puts at the forefront of Development in Zimbabwe and the world at large.I am currently working on a project to create an sms based forum for youth throughout Zimbabwe that will empower and stimulate awareness opinion, perspective, analysis and dialogue whilst encouraging social and behavioural change amongst the youth. I am also currently working on a project of a youth talk show that will give the platform to Youth Nationally, Regionally and Worldwide to freely express and share their fears, hopes, aspirations, dreams and experiences in life because they do not have a proper place to express all these bottled up feelings, thoughts and questions. My Passion lies in Youth and therefore I am in the process of registering an NGO which will focus on creating youth friendly resource centers and corners to support youth with knowledge in both urban and rural areas in Zimbabwe, to assist and support local youth development initiatives and networks in rural and peri-urban areas by giving resources, training and technical advice and promote young people’s active role in their communities in society through livelihoods workshops, sexual reproductive health sessions for in and out of school youths and issues of advocacy.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: Wow, the world today needs more empowered young men and women.So much has been done in terms of advancing technology and eradication of poverty, yet people are still suffering. There has to be something missing, something wrong.I love Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski's satirical paintings filled with thought-provoking messages about the world today.

People need to have a change of behaviour from the grassroots to the top level and become less self-centered and spread more love around.

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: I would definitely emphasize the fact that lack of innovation and being blinkard is a challenge in my society. The fear of thinking outside the box, taking risks and doing things out of the ordinary limits my society. I think just like every other community employment is also a challenge and it has definitely become a huge barrier to development.

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: As a young lady, I've had to face a huge hurdle of women never being able to reach the glass ceiling and being looked down upon in my society. But I believe that with perseverance and hard work one can definitely make it. Sometimes looking around me all I could hear was it cant be done, it's impossible, you are too young. Yet I continued to believe in myself and my passion.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: Many youth lack mentors who are there to support them through giving them the relevant information they need in order to make the right choices in their lives and in their careers. The role of a mentor is vital to me because this is the person that is able to help you make the right choices without choosing for you, motivating and inspiring you to become the greatest person you can be.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: Yes, I would!!! Through everything that I have gone through I've learnt that never make excuses for your mistakes.Learn from them and move on. I've also learnt that if you fall pick yourself up dust yourself and keep going as much as you a have people that are supporting you around only you can make a difference through making choice to give up or go on. I've also learnt that pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit and that you are your own limit.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: Wow, I have quite a few but Strive and Tsitsi Masiiwa the owners of the biggest telecoms company in Zimbabwe (Econet) and their foundation Higher life foundation are doing an amazing work in not only giving employment to a lot of Zimbabweans but they are also taking thousands of orphans to schools and giving them an opportunity to get an education they deserve.

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: 'It would be a shame to work so hard to become fit for this world, and still be unfit for the King' - Unknown.