Patriotic Front National Youth Chairperson Stephen Kampyongo has advised youths to step out and compete with the elderly because jobs will not come on a silver platter.

And Kampyongo says wasting time gossiping on social media does not put food on the table.

In an interview on Youth Day, Kampyongo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, advised youths to be innovative.

“My advice to the youths, and I am speaking because I have had my experience to be where I am today, it didn’t drop from heaven, it was not like manna from heaven. Even as much as I was a youth, I was able to step out and actually compete with the elderly. So I advise the youths that there is nothing that will come from anywhere or from heaven on a silver platter. So youths should start applying their energies on innovation. There are so many youths out there who have created their own jobs and jobs for the others. So mine is to say youths should be creative in order to be successful, you need to start from somewhere,” Kampyongo said.

He said youths should not shy away from competing with older people for positions.

“And I am giving myself as a clear example that even as a youth, there was no one who came to me, even president [Michael] Sata didn’t just come and say ‘here you are’. He gave us a platform, he gave us a chance, he invited us to say ‘look, I need you the youths because I am aging, I just want to create something that you people can build on’. So we had to go and compete. I competed with people who were much more order, people who were as old as my parents. I made people convinced that I was going to provide different kind of leadership at constituency level. And they listened and they voted for me. And I planned myself to make sure that I account for myself for the opportunity they gave me. And that is why it was easier even with the stiff competition in 2016 for people to re-elect me, because they had seen that I meant well for them and I still mean well for them. And they could see the transformation that I was bringing to the area,” Kampyongo said.

He advised youths to learn from his experiences.

“The second time they (voters) even gave more numbers than I got in 2011. President Sata himself identified me when I served after one year, he identified me to become deputy minister in his executive. I progressively became cabinet minister, as you know I served under the vice president as deputy minister, I became local government full minister. And President Lungu now saw it fit that I could serve in his cabinet as Home Affairs Minister which is a very huge opportunity and privilege for me. This is not a small ministry, it’s a bigger ministry with so many portfolio functions. So when I am sharing with the youths on what it takes to be to be successful, I am talking through the practical experience,” he said.

And Kampyongo warned youths against wasting time gossiping on social media.

“But what I have seen of late is that there are so many people who are so good at talking sweet nothing, so many sweet nothing. You can’t inspire someone if you can’t inspire yourself first and foremost. So, youths must learn to get inspired from those that are successful at something. Secondly, youths must understand that wasting time gossiping on social media will never put food on the table, will never grow them into productive citizens. Time will come when they will even be failing to get bundles to gossip on social media. So it is very important that we…just like I said we replicate. Those who created the software applications that we are using for communication, are fellow youths,” Kampyongo said.

“The theme is talking about how the youth can leverage on the opportunities available through the ICT and information platform. This is timely I think for youths and us graduating youths because if you look at the way we have utilized the information platform now as youths, it leaves much to be desired. What we don’t realize is that these applications that we are using are actually developed by fellow youths elsewhere and if we can only get 20 per cent to replicate what those innovative youths are doing and utilize what they are creating for us to better our lives, it would be a different story. But if we are going to continue using these platforms for armchair criticism, for basically insulting, hate speech and think that there will be another platform for you as a youth, you are fooling yourself.”

Kampyongo observed that Zambians loved easy solutions.

“And certainly here in this country we are endowed with natural capital. God has given us. And people want easy solutions, quick money, it wont help. Most of the youths would want to go and…you know I saw the people complaining ‘what you have done to the black mountain, is that what we should do to mukula?’ no! if you come with a proposal to say ‘we are going to value addition to this mukula and also make sure that we rebrand the mukula for the city generations’ then we shall be talking to a responsible youth. But if you are a youth who want to come and cut mukula and send it to where it is going to create jobs either in China or wherever it is taken, then there is nothing that you are going to put on the table because you want to live for today and forget about tomorrow,” said Kampyongo.