We stand with you: #ShutItAllDown #EndSARS

Written by Vuyo Dubese and Farai Mubaiwa.

As the One Young World Africa community, we stand in solidarity with the youth in Nigeria and Namibia in the fight against police brutality, gender-based violence and human rights violations.

Over the past few days, we have seen and been inspired by the valiant efforts that young leaders across the continent and the diaspora have taken to mobilise the news media about what has been happening across these two African states.

As the global platform for young leaders, we know that young people are not only the future of the African continent, but the leaders of today. Government officials, security agencies, corporates, industry giants and NGOs should empower and listen to young people rather than silence them.

endsars
end sars

Photo credit: Reuters / AFP

To every young person in Nigeria, Namibia and other fellow African countries protesting for justice in their communities, we as the One Young World Community want you to know this:

We stand with you.

We lift your voices.

We mourn the lives that have been so unjustly lost.

We are here to listen, learn and serve you in the best way as you champion the rights of the citizens of your respective countries.

We are here to support you as you challenge the existing state of affairs and create meaningful and positive change.

To our One Young World Ambassadors across the continent and across the world, we urge you to educate yourselves in this matter by following the #EndSARS official hashtag to keep yourselves updated about what’s happening in Nigeria, and #ShutItAllDown in the continuous fight in Namibia.

We strongly believe that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, and we have to constantly raise our collective voice against violence and injustice. We can support the struggle through joining the struggle via online and offline platforms through supporting initiatives that are working towards ending police brutality, violence and any form of injustice.

As we create lasting impact and build peace globally, we are reminded by United Nations Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her statement for International Youth Day 2020 in a call for youth engagement for global action that: “We are looking to young people to continue disrupting the status quo and to lead the way in building back more equal, unified and resilient societies for all.”

Let us use our resources and community to make a difference as we participate in intergenerational leadership that drives solutions for the intersectional challenges that reflect and impact the future that we want to live in.