As the term of Harare’s Junior Mayor Ebenezer Nobela comes to an end in August, Harare News met with him to find out about what he describes as a very successful term in office.
Junior Council is a non-profit organisation that was established in 1953 to provide youths with a platform to take leadership roles and contribute to their development. The Council is made up of school-goers from Harare who are selected to serve for one year on a voluntary basis.
Nobela said that after inauguration in August 2014, his council had targeted five thematic areas namely road safety; child development and mentorship; teenage behavioural change; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and charity work.
“We mandated ourselves to see to it that every project we did fell under one of the five thematic goals. However, we did not do away with national and international days observances. I believe my council was very effective in tackling the targeted goals, though we had some failures,” said Nobela.
The 18 year old Nobela, who is studying arts at A-Level at Churchill High School and aspires to become a lawyer in the future, said that his term in office was fruitful as it has managed to set a good foundation from which to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.
“I am glad I took this step as it was very rewarding. It has managed to teach me a lot about community development as well as accountability and I can safely say I am now more focused to become a lawyer,” said the soft spoken Nobela.
Nobela said that he was excited by the support he got from fellow councillors as well as other youths in Harare, but pointed out that his council faced various challenges – the biggest one being lack of financial support to fund Junior Council’s projects.
“Funding is Junior Council’s biggest challenge. My council could have done more if we had managed to secure enough funding. I would like to urge all corporates to come to the aid of the Junior Council’s initiatives,” said Nobela.
The outgoing junior mayor said that he would urge the next incumbent to tackle the issue of child marriage as he believes it still needs a lot of attention. “Child marriages are still very prevalent in our society and I believe a lot still needs to be done. I want to also encourage youths in Harare to stand up for what they believe in,” said Nobela.
Nobela insists that although he is stepping out of Junior Council, his community work is far from over. “I will not cease to do this community development work because of the title, this is who I am. Junior council has given me a new dimension to life and I shall continue with community and child development work,” he said.