The average age of a member of parliament is 56. But at just 25 years, Hlomela Bucwa defied the odds to become the youngest member of parliament. Hailing from a small town in the Eastern Cape. Her short but inspiring journey to parliament started in university when she joined political organisation Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO).
She was inspired to join student politics in university, after seeing the struggles of many students who were excluded from university because they could not afford to pay for the fees.
As the president of the DASO she led the organisation to victory during the Student Representative Council elections in 2014. During her presidency as SRC she used her voice for good exposing corruption in the student governing body - revealing how students funds were misused.
Because of her passion for fighting for young people, Democratic Alliance selected her as a member of parliament. In 2017, she was sworn in becoming the youngest member in the highest decision making office.
In her first speech in parliament, she took the time to urge the president to focus on youth empowerment and to help young people to get an education or a job. Her time in parliament has been challenging but Hlomela says she is soldiering on.
“It’s tough. I still can’t believe that I’m here, but my aim is to make a contribution, no matter how small.” You should never think that your voice doesn’t matter, that is the message that Hlomela has for young people.
“To the youth...we are not leaders of tomorrow but let us lead now and be the change that we seek to achieve,” she concludes.
If you would like to be like Hlomela and make your voice heard, here are a few things you can do:
Be brave: Raising your voice and speaking about issues that affect you can be scary. Be brave and talk about the issues that affect you - even if your voice shakes.
Speak out: Your voice is important and can make a difference. Find issues you are passionate about and be a voice to create a better world for yourself and the people around you.
Organise: One voice is strong but many voices joining together for a cause is powerful. Join and support organisations that stand for a similar cause.
In October we celebrate International Day of the Girl all over the world! Celebrating amazing girls just like Hlomela. Can you tell us what is the cause that you are passionate about? How will you make sure your voice gets heard?