TOP modelling personality and Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs Youth Action (Zeya) fundraising director, Mercy “Catwalk” Mushaninga says the recent elevation of fast-rising businessman, Brighton Bako in the leadership structures of the youth empowerment group to deputise fashion designer James Pande as president, will bolster youth empowerment initiatives in the country.
By Albert Masaka
Mushaninga also gave the thumbs up to the inclusion of university students in Zeya.
Bako assumed the post which was left vacant after the appointment of Tabetha Kanengoni to a ministerial post in Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office. Also elected was University of Zimbabwe student Panashe Chishaka as students chairman.
Mushaninga told The Standard Style that she, together with Pande, were using arts to spearhead the marketing of the empowerment group’s initiatives and a number of exciting programmes have been lined up that have aroused the interest of politicians and businesspeople alike.
She said a lot of youths had approached her seeking mentorship and they had subsequently joined Zeya. She said the youth empowerment group engaged the Primary and Secondary Education ministry with the hope of mobilising school-going youths.
“I will contribute a lot in Zeya since I have a lot of experience in the entertainment industry,” said Mushaninga.
“I already have organisations and companies that are interested in partnering with us. Zeya is a youth organisation and with the type of industry that I am in, I have a lot of youth who approach me with projects and now that they are members of Zeya, they will be able to interact with professionals and Zeya partners to help them start their projects. We as Zeya will not only help them to start, but we will monitor and advise them using professional skills.
“Bako has inspired a lot of people in Zimbabwe by being a successful young man, who is making it big, especially in this tough economy and he is the right person to lead the youth because he has walked the road before.”
Pande said: “Unlike the previous structure, we have decided to give new blood a chance to participate and show us what they are really made of, especially university students.”
He also said they had incorporated the disadvantaged and people living with disabilities to make sure they are also empowered.
University of Zimbabwe students, who are members of Zeya, have also embarked on an ambitious project to financially empower their members who are struggling to pay tuition fees across the country’s universities.