US: Zimbabwean elected Michigan youth in government Speaker

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By Thobekile Khumalo

21-year-old Tendekai Mawokomatanda who based in the United States was recently elected as the Speaker for Michigan’s Youths in Government conference.

Mawokomatanda has written eight bills in Michigan to bring about change and was awarded with accolade of the ‘most distinguished bill’ in the conference.

Speaking to, Mawokomatanda said youths have the power to make change.

“As an active delegate of Michigan Youth in Government, I wrote a total of eight bills to bring about change,” he said.

“One of the bills was to prohibit all Michigan lawmakers from buying and selling any type of stock while in office and it won the award for the most distinguished bill at the Youth in Government conference.

“This honour inspired me to take this issue as seriously as possible and to address it with lawmakers.”

He continued; “I talked first with former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan Honourable Kurtis Wilder about my bill (HB 246). Judge Wilder agreed in principle with this bill and gave me legal advice that would help address any pros or cons of the bill.

“Upon his suggestion, I next talked with Michigan Minority Leader Yousef Rabhi about the contents and theory of this bill. He agreed that we need this type of support at a state level and has agreed to introduce it in November to the Michigan House.”

Mawokomatanda said as a first generation Zimbabwean-American he is helping promote the status of Africans in the Diaspora.

“I am helping defend the status of the African diaspora and making a change through local politics,” he said.

“It is extremely rare for black people to be elected to high positions of power such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, especially in a real setting.

“Being a youth, this also shows my determination and dedication to prove the odds against me winning, and I hope to influence those like me to take initiative and be proactive about having your voice heard.

“Your age nor skin colour should discourage you from whatever it is you want to accomplish. This will also help me start my career and get a feeling as I would like to run for public office at age 21.”

He added; “You are the face of our new generation. Whatever you do now will greatly affect our future as the whole world watches now.

“So, always try your hardest, and be proactive in everything you do. Take advantage of the things given to you, and do not let anyone talk you out of an opportunity.

“Your passion and motivation are what drive you to be your absolute best, and with so many dedicated youths who are already making a change in their community, our next generation of fighters is going to protect us, and move us forward.”