THERE is nothing more dangerous in any country than a misinformed bunch of youths, says musician Kantu Siachingili.
She says change should begin with the youth.
“A lot of things have been said but we want to make an actual difference. We are doing this because we love our country. We want to make a difference. Change needs to begin with the youth themselves because they are the ones that have began revolutions in world history so our role as artistes is to just to inform them, give them the information and then let them make informed decisions, let them make the right choices that is what we want them to do and that is why we are talking about social justice,” Kantu, who was part of the artistes that took part in the commemoration of the global week of action in Nampundwe, said in an interview.
She says Zambia is endowed with many natural resources which include land, water, forests and minerals, but an ordinary Zambian does not understand that they have to benefit from them.
Kantu said the resources belong to every Zambian.
“…and the fact that they do not even want to take part in decision making, how then do they expect their voices to be heard? If there are decisions to be made, we are encouraging them to be part of the process of making those decisions. I am always saying that publical participation is very important when it comes to fostering accountability and transparency with regards to public resource utilisation. So the public needs to participate for the longest of time. The public just sits and they fold their hands and expect their leaders to make the decisions and when leaders make the decisions, people start complaining and yet they were invited to take part but didn’t want to take part and then decisions are made and then they start complaining. So public participation is very important, specifically for the youth,” she says.
“We need more young blood in leadership roles. We need more young people and so that’s the reason why we want to inform the youth as artistes, we want to inform the youths of all these issues that actually really matter. We don’t want to focus on who is saying what on social media, who is doing what because those things don’t affect us. We want them to look at real issues, social justice, inequality, we need to fight all these things. We need to look at encouraging communities to take part in the way public resources are used because all these resources belong to each and every Zambian. So basically our role is just to inform them and ask them to make the right decisions.”
Kantu says she feels very motivated this year.
“I think I am speaking more on the issue of child marriage. I think that one is a big issue that we need to tackle and also the issue of public participation. For the longest time the youth don’t want to take part. You post something on Facebook that has to do with their livelihood, they will never even comment, they won’t even have an opinion but must you post anything that is, you know, you will see the comments like … because they are attracted to all these things that are not even necessary,” she says.
“What I want to do this year is just change the perception of the youth. If I can change as many as a million Zambians then I am going to sleep well at night because I am yet to have children, I want my children to be able to know what a white rhino is. I want them to know what a crocodile looks like. I want them to know… to benefit from the copper, fish, from every resource endowed in this land. That is want I am planning to do this year.”