Youths challenged to participate in the country’s development Dr Marupi was responding to contributions made by backbenchers in the National Assembly in response to a State of the Nation Address speech made by President Mnangagwa when he officially opened the First Session of the 10th Parliament last year.

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE National Youth Day offers the country an opportunity to reflect on the role young people played in the liberation of the country from colonial rule and how today’s youths should participate in the country’s development, Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Omphile Marupi, said yesterday.

The country commemorated the National Youth Day on Wednesday with the main event held at Mushagashe Vocational Training Centre in Masvingo.

“The commemorations are a milestone for us as a country and if you follow President Mnangagwa’s speech in Masvingo, he emphasised that youth have a major part to play in the development of the country.

“The President emphasised that they were also youths at some stage and matured early because of the conditions they were living in that time due to colonial rule which forced them to take up arms to liberate the country from the Rhodesians’ colonial rule,” he said.

Dr Marupi said because of this, the generation that took up arms to liberate themselves had deprived themselves of the opportunity to enjoy their youthful days as expected under normal circumstances.

He added that President Mnangagwa was sentenced to death because of his role in fighting colonialism and was spared the gallows because of his age.

“The independence we enjoy could not have come if the youths then were engaging in drug abuse and other such vices,” Dr Marupi said.

He called on young people to take advantage of the various Government programmes to empower themselves and commended the re-orientation of the country’s education system to prioritise national identity.

“We must have an education that identifies who we are and that is why we now have Heritage Studies to teach our youths about who are as Zimbabweans.

“This is not only peculiar to Zimbabwe but is done by several countries worldwide,” he said.

The Deputy Minister implored the youths to have role models across all sectors of society including traditional leaders, politicians, religious leaders and the academia.

“The emphasis is on the importance of hard work, respect for self and others and preservation of our cultural and national values,” Dr Marupi said.

A veteran broadcaster who swapped the mic for politics, Dr Marupi is a Member of Parliament for Gwanda South constituency.

With a career spanning 22 years in broadcasting, Dr Marupi is not only a media practitioner but an academic of note as he holds a Doctor of Philosophy in English and Comparative Literature from Fort Hare University in South Africa.

He also holds a Master of Science in Strategic Communication from the National University of Science and Technology and a Master of Arts in African Languages and Culture, a post graduate degree in Higher and Tertiary Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Language Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Special Honours in Communication and Media Studies.

Dr Marupi joined the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation in 2000 and rose through the ranks to the position of Head Montrose Studios in Bulawayo.

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