human history is replete with the exploits of young people and their implication for socio- political, economic, and scientific transformation of human society. from the earliest time in recorded history, human civilizations have, over time, witnessed remarkable changes brought about by the curiosity, energy, exuberance, dream and passion of the youth. From science to religion, commerce art and politics, the youth have left indelible mark in the annals of human history and civilization. Alexander the Great, began his conquest and expansion of his empire from the age of 18; Augustus Caesar was only 20 when he became a Roman senator. He was to later become the first Emperor of Rome. Joan of Arc was only 17 when she turned the tide of the 100 years’ war in favour of France in 1429; Christopher Columbus started sailing at a young age and discovered the New world [The Americas] at the age of 41 in1492; Vasco Dagama was the first to discover the sea route that linked Europe to Asia in 1498; thereby connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, and therefore, the west and the orient. He was 38 at the time. William Pitt, the younger become prime minister of England in 1783 at the age 24; young marquis de Lafayette [Gilbert du Motier] turned the tied of the American Revolutionary war in favour of the colonists leading to victory for the America colonists and the eventual independence of the united stateof America. He not only contributed to the war effort but also helped convince the French monarch, king Louis XVI to support the America rebels. Thomas Jefferson, the author of America declaration of independence was 33 when he wrote the declaration in 1776.the Wright brother were in their 30s when the invented the aero plane and gave humanity wings to fly in the air. Martin Luther king Jr, was a youth when his relentless voice against racial equality in segregation and injustice amplified the civil right movement and redefined racial equality in the united state America . Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 when he become the first human being to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Mark zuckerberg was in his 20s when he broke through with facebook, connecting the world on a social interactive platform; Sergey Brin and Larry page were in their twenties when they founded google in 1998. The French revolution of 1789 -1799, one of the most remarkable political events in human history was inspired and carried out by young people. Jean Baptists Bernadotte was 26, Napoleon Bonaparte was 20, Jean pierre-andre Amarwas 33, Joseph Bonaparte was 21, Louis Alexander-Berthier was 36. Many more others, including a French fruit seller, ReineAudu, were young people who together decided to go against the tide and earn humanity the precious gift of libeirty and equality for all. This revolution inspired many other revolutionary movement and struggles for freedom and equality around the world. It inspired the American revolutionary war. The America declaration of independence gives a place of prominence to the equality of all men, ‘’we hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’’
The French Revolution also Led to the dissolution of absolute monarchy in many countries, especially in Europe and became the basis for the republican system of government in which all citizen are free . the African continent has also had its share of remarkable personalities who assumed prominence at young age. We remember Amilcarcabral of Guinea Bissau; we remember SteveBiko of south African ; we remember Patrice Lumumba of Congo; we remember Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, etc. and in our dear country Nigeria, youths were the vanguards of the struggle for political independence.
The nationalist movement was ignited by youth activism led by the Nigerian youth movement. We remember the likes of J.C. Vaughn, Ernest Ikoli, H.O. Davies, Samuel Akinsanya and NnamdiAzikiwe. Even at independence, most of our leaders were in their thirties. This trend continued well into the military era. The youth contributed immensely to the decolonization of Africa just like other parts of the world .Together, in their intolerance and distaste for inequality and oppression, they fought for the political emancipation of the continent from the clutches of colonialism. Thus youths all over the world, in various civilizations and at different historical era have helped revolutionize human society.
They conquered territories, built great empires, navigated uncharted waters, discovered new worlds, made flight a possibility for mankind, uncovered the boundary of our planet, planted their feet on outer space, fought for freedom, advocated for equality, brought the world together in globalization and extended the bounds of human possibilities. That is the strength of the youth –they are intolerant of oppression, impatient with segregation, uncomfortable with mediocrity and allergic to the status quo. The youth, therefore, stands for dream, imagination, passion, ingenuity, energy, ambition, inventiveness, innovativeness, dynamism and determination. Suffice it to say that any nation that any nation that excludes the youth, either deliberately or inadvertently, from participating in her leadership and productive Endeavour’s stands the risk of backwardness and underdevelopment. Could that be one of the reasons for the deplorable condition of our country and of many countries in the continent of Africa where gerontocracy seems to hold sway?
Where are we today?
our distinguished and indefatigable Senator Princess Stella Oduahbeing a youth and agriculture friendly personality maintains that the only way for a better society is through human capital development thus: “The most important area to work on for a better society is on human capital development especially on the youth because they are the future leaders’’.
Based on this she being an epitome of philanthropy single handedly though her numerous foundations and constituency capacities sponsors various skillsacquisitions training in various disciplines like,
- Event planning
- Electrical/ electronics
- Computer soft ware applications,
- Catering etc
scholarship to youth in various institutions like
- 70 Students in Grundtvig institute, Oba. while 200 new students are currently underling admission processes.
- 32 students in federal college of agriculture lshiaguEbonyi State.
- 15 studentsin St John the apostle high school ododkpu Onitsha.
- Training of about 135 youth in coconut planting training
- Sponsoring of some youth for international leadership training for a better leadership acumen.
- Empowerment of over 200 youth through a business plan of other choice
- Empowerment of over 800 unsettled apprentices for them to be meaningfully engaged
- secured employment for a good number of youth in the civil service commission,Nigeria Police force commission,Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian air force etc all for the betterment of our youth for a better society
All these are being done to reduce unemployment and truancyamongst the youth in Anambra North and beyond.
Finally, until a better youth found, the world would be a better place For Tom, Dick and Harry.