In the recently completed Amani National Congress (ANC) party’s youth league elections in Busia county, one Francis Okwara, commonly known to many as ‘Omusiani wa Mani‘ (energetic boy) clinched the Busia County’s ANC party youth league chair position.
BusiaLeo’s correspondent, BMW recently caught up with the young, energetic, determined mind and he was generous enough to share a few things about himself.
BMW: Who is Francis Okwara
Francis: Francis Okwara is a young upcoming leader from Nambale Constituency, Busia County. I am a trained teacher by profession and a former student leader at Maseno University. I am the current ANC party youth league chairperson, Busia County. Very passionate about
leadership that translates to development.
BMW: Speaking of the Youth league chair victory, how did you receive the news? Was it too obvious or were you surprised?
Francis: Well, the Victory is something I had prepared myself for. I had traversed the 7 sub counties of Busia visiting and recruiting youth who were willing to join ANC and getting opinion from those who were already in it. I would say it was not obvious but I was not surprised since I had worked for it.
BMW: That’s quite an achievement. When did you realize your ability to lead and in your own experience, are leaders born or made?
Francis: Thanks. In my opinion leaders are made. Our environments and our aspirations as people play a critical role in shaping the leaders that we are. Unfortunately some leaders are made for the wrong purposes and that is why we have variations in terms of leadership.
I realized my ability to lead while in the minor seminary where, I did my high school education. I was elected Class representative, for a record 3 years form 2 to form 4.
BMW: What ANC’s policy or practice do you identify most with that made you choose ANC and not any other party?
Francis: Well ANC is a party that has given the youth open spaces to engage unlike other parties where ‘remote control’ work. I feel it is a party where the youth who are tired of being used as political vehicles can fit and engage for the betterment of our society and Country
BMW: What is in it for ANC under your leadership?
Francis: I am one person who does things with a lot of consultations.
Before the end of this week I am going to have a consultative meeting with my ANC elected youth officials. We shall then draw a way forward. Otherwise, people should expect a vibrant youth league of ANC in Busia County.
BMW: It appears like in ANC, youths are leaders of today. What will you do in your current position to ensure Busia County achieves the same in future elections?
Francis: Like I said I am a person who consults a lot. To achieve sustainability , I will greatly consult with the youths league structures we already have in our County, sub County and ward levels, so as to get their exact needs and views, the future is indeed ANC.
BMW: Who would you describe as your political mentor? And what of your role model?
Francis: There are a lot of people I have learnt and drawn lessons from as mentors or rather as role models. I have not yet found enough quantity in one such persons that I should name. Strange, but that is where I find myself.
BMW: Does ‘Omusiani wa mani’ harbor any political leadership ambitions?
Francis: I believe I am already a leader in my own right and if in future the situation or the people demand that I have to rise to the occasion of alternative leadership, political or otherwise, I will be there.
BMW: On a lighter note; you mentioned minor seminary somewhere, why aren’t you a priest?
Francis: (laughs heartily) Ideally, their is a term coined as “many are called but few are chosen” . I indeed was called but not chosen to serve God in the priestly capacity. I believe God had a purpose because I am now serving him in a different capacity as a leader of the people. The Latin say “Vox populi Vox dei” translating to the ‘voice of the people is the voice of God’. I am still serving God, just in a different vocation.
BMW: What’s your message to fellow youth on matters leadership and politics?
Francis: Youth must rise to the occasion and fight for the available leadership spaces. When they do so, they must do it with a motivation to serve others and not serving their interests only. We already have a generation of youth who have witnessed what leaders who serve their own interests do to the larger population. The youth must change this narrative. They must learn to serve.
BMW: Thank you for your time and Congratulations for your victory.