PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he grew up aiming to become an airline pilot, but his ambitions changed due to colonial circumstances of the day.
He said this on Friday while interacting with youths at the Zimbabwe Youth Indaba which was organized by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation.
The Minister Kirsty Coventry asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa what he wanted to be when he was a teenager.
The President narrated how his family had problems with the colonial government in rural Midlands under Chief Mapanzure, and they ended up emigrating to Zambia. He said that changed his dreams and he ended up pursuing guerilla warfare against the colonial regime.
The President also said the circumstances led him to become a lawyer although his heart was not into it. He wanted to be a soldier, he said.
He got the youths in stitches when he narrated how he burnt down a lecturer’s house as part of his political activism. He ended up being selected for training in Tanzania and eventually in China, he said.
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“We must not just imagine the future we want but more importantly roll up our sleeves and put our shoulders to the wheel to realize the future we want,” said the President.
Speaking on the sidelines of the indaba, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry said: “As the minister, I am really excited about this. I have been speaking to many youth groups here and I am glad the youths have been sharing with the President. It is not all about concerns alone; the youths proffered solutions to their concerns and shared them with the President,” she said.
More than 200 youths from all the provinces met and dialogued with the Head of State. Coventry reiterated that the event was apolitical.
“And let me be clear on one aspect. This is not a political youth gathering, it’s totally non-partisan. When we started planning this event, some people were saying it’s a politically-related event, but no! This is a platform organised for youths of Zimbabwe,” she said.
Some of the concerns discussed during the indaba today included youth empowerment, job creation and youth participation in national development.
Vice President Chiwenga as well as Cabinet Ministers and other government leaders attended the events.