I grew up hearing the axiom that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow

It was taught in school, religious leaders preached it in places of worship, and politicians adopted it.

Teachers like Master Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu were good at such advice and it could keep us wanting to see the tomorrow they were telling us about.

I used to hear President Museveni counseling young people and advising them not to misuse their young age since the future of the country is in their hands. He echoed the phrase; youth are the leaders of tomorrow.

The youth of 1986 when President Museveni took power are now in their 50s. The pupils the likes of Master Ssewungu taught in 1993 are now in their 30s. When is the tomorrow we were told?

According to Malcolm X, the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. Why must the youth wait until tomorrow to lead? What about today? When does tomorrow begin?

Let there be no misunderstanding, as often as the youths are reminded that they are the leaders of tomorrow, they must also be reminded of the fact: that today is the tomorrow they were waiting for yesterday.

In Uganda where leaders don’t want to leave power at all levels of society, there’s no tomorrow for young people. Tomorrow has come but the same leaders are still in power. They want it more than before.

If I was a teacher I would be proud to see the pupils I taught taking after me. If I was a president I would be the happiest to see young people taking after me and I offer guidance to them.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president of the United States, once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more and become more, you are a leader.” Every day brings opportunities for effective leadership and, as a consequence, the youth should prepare themselves, at all times, to fill this gap, in every sphere of life. Leadership is a garment that must be worn, on a daily basis and not a coat that is pulled out from a closet and put on when needed.

The call is now, I strongly believe. Let’s get real youths, do not wait for tomorrow so that you can start leading and solving problems, then. As a young, person, whatever capacity you find yourself in today, begin seeking solutions to the challenges that you and other youths face. You have the power in you to bring about that change.

It is verbally easy to say, “Youth are the leaders of tomorrow”, but the leaders of tomorrow must start today. As the saying goes: The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Then again yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; today is a gift.




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