As time passes it becomes more and more apparent that a career in politics needs to start when you’re young, and be driven by a passion for helping people. It’s an apt description of the journey David Kabwa finds himself on; he’s the first ever African prime minister of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament and the SRC president at University of Pretoria. At just 23 he has more accolades and accomplishments than many seasoned campaigners.
Kabwa won the seat of SRC president against all odds, with a campaign budget of just R500 and many claiming he could never win running as an independent candidate. He was not only reelected, but won by a significant margin, illustrating the service he offered in the first term. “I’ve held more portfolios than I can count, each time I was reminded of the weight carried by each decision, as it affects the people who placed me where I am,” he explains. Kabwa hopes to inspire those after him, mentoring students and regularly organising for them to accompany him to observe meetings conducted by the Portfolio Finance Committee at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
The immense pride he felt when an international cohort of young leaders put their faith in him to lead the Commonwealth Youth Parliament assured him that South Africans have more to give than we think. In Kabwa’s words:
“We often do not give ourselves the credit that we deserve. I was surprised to be the first (prime minister) and I will do everything in my power to ensure that I am not the last.”
He emphasises the importance of letting your ambition be unlimited, to learn from and not imitate your mentor, to align your academics with your passion and to give your best, regardless of what that is, on any given day.