Unless government and the private sector invest in youth programmes and encourage the leadership of young people, youths will continue to sail in poverty thereby worsening the country’s economy.
This was said by award winning youthful entrepreneur and shoe fashion designer Chimwemwe Mwenyemasi who recently scooped a small-scale business accolade at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) Innovation Awards.
Mwenyemasi, who is behind Mwenyemasi shoe brand, said Malawi has a large population of youths that are loafing due to soaring unemployment rates.
“Firstly, I have to commend MBC and President Peter Mutharika for championing programmes such as MBC Innovations Awards which are unlocking potentials for individual winners. But we need more of youthful programmes. The private sector should come in to support the creative industry which has potential to create entrepreneurs and reduce the poverty among young people in the country,” said Mwenyemasi.
Mwenyemasi is one of the country’s gifted shoe designers whose fashion is flying high. Last year, he displayed his merchandise at Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) during a youth innovation event where he met President Peter Mutharika, the First Lady Getrude Mutharika, Vice-President Saulos Chilima and other government and non-governmental officials.
In an interview recently, Mwenyemasi reiterated his call for a vibrant creative industry which needs massive investment and youth involvement.
“If youthful programmes are encouraged in the country, I believe there will be reduced unemployment and crime rates and HIV prevalence rates among young people. Young people indulge in risky lifestyles because they have nothing tangible to do at home,” said Mwenyemasi.
Asked about his trip to China, which forms part of his triumph in MBC Innovations Awards, Mwenyemasi said he is geared for business partnership.
“I want to utilise the trip to China to find business deals, particularly in the area of machinery for shoe production,” said Mwenyemasi.
According to MBC director general Aubrey Sumbuleta, all the winners in 2016’s MBC Innovation Awards went away with K1 million kwacha each, a trophy, a certificate and a month-long trip to China. n