MUHAMMED CHOONARA is an aspiring young politician who is passionate about African development. Michaela Feldman caught up with him.
I am currently a first-year student studying International Studies. I believe young South Africans need to realise the importance of education and infrastructure to have a different outlook on life.
I also genuinely think that if all countries in Africa actually helped one another, the entire continent could prosper. This is something I often raise at African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) meetings, something of which I am a part.
The South Africa Washington International Programme (SAWIP) is a programme that aims to bridge the gap between the West and Africa. We as Africans are educated and are committed; we have our vision and mission for our country. South Africa has so much potential, especially our youth. As a nominee for the SAWIP programme, I represent South Africa and show other leading nations that we have the means to produce good innovators.
I also work closely with the Black Management Forum, which stands for the progression of young innovators. We cannot demand things from our system and government if we are not positively contributing to it. As young academics, we have the ability to be movers and shakers, simply by doing our part in improving the country. By working with communities, I try to contribute my part in bettering the economy and the country.
Simply by taking a few minutes to talk to people and understand them, I might be able to understand the possible problems they have and attempt to try to find a solution. I hope to someday start a foundation called “The Dream”, to be a home for underprivileged and homeless people and addicts to find refuge and comfort.
I consider myself an analytical politician because I try to look at all parties and see the positive while also seeing the bad. I also understand that we cannot move forward if we do not understand the past. The youth is the future of our nation, therefore we should invest in ourselves and our passions. Go for the things you want, don’t say no.