by Nawa V. Sitali, Thompson Kamuhuza Luzendi, Nalishebo Sinyama, Muleta Kapatiso, Mary Mwaba, Andrew Machila, Given Musanya Kapolyo, and Chimwemwe Zakeyo Mwansa
Publication Date: September 2023
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In 2018, Zambia grappled with political turmoil, a stifled democratic process, and marginalized youth voices. Physical violence among youth from different political factions was a hard reality. Amid this chaos, two friends from opposing parties began the Youth4Parliament (Y4P) movement, igniting a transformation that would reshape Zambia’s political landscape.
Discover how Y4P’s pioneering spirit united young activists across party lines, inspiring a historic shift in the country’s politics. From fostering youth leaders to run for office to mobilizing youth to vote and join an unprecedented emergence of social movements, Y4P’s journey is a testament to the power of youth determination.
This is the story of Youth4Parliament’s first few years—their challenges and victories—told in their own voices. But this book is more than a recounting of their journey; it’s a guidebook for changemakers.
This is the first book in the Research-in-Action (REACT) Series, a partnership between ActionAid Denmark and ICNC. Much writing about movements is written from the outside. Success stories are documented in NGO reporting or academic journals. These are important channels of learning, but the insights are often slow to reach the activists who would benefit most. This series lifts the voices of activists as they write for other activists, tell their own stories, and share their first-hand experiences.
About the Authors:
Nawa V. Sitali is a social movement specialist and political activist from the territory of Barotseland in Zambia. Growing up in rural Nampundwe, a small village west of the Capital City, Nawa developed a passion for politics but was never given an opportunity to meaningfully engage in politics due to his age. In 2018, he co-founded the social movement called Youth4Parliament as a response to the exclusion of youth in politics.
Thompson Luzendi is a co-founder of Youth4Parliament. He is a grassroots social movement organizing expert, a graduate of the Program for Young Politicians in Africa, the African Presidential Leadership Program, and an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative and the Apolitical Academy. Thompson is an active politician and uses organizing as a strategy to activate his community for transformative sustainable development. He is part of the 2026 Youth4Parliament candidates programs.
Nalishebo Sinyama is currently serving as the Movement Manager of Youth4Parliament. She is a community organizing specialist, feminist, and young female politician. Nalishebo is the first and youngest woman to be appointed as provincial chairperson in one of the biggest political parties in Zambia. In 2021, Nalishebo was the only female aspirant vying for the Kabwata Constituency parliamentary elections under the opposition political party (the Patriotic Front).
Muleta Kapatiso is a lawyer, activist, and research consultant. Muleta has work experience in the legal and civil society sectors, having worked with social movements and human rights organizations. As part of his work to advance human rights, social justice, and the rule of law, Muleta serves as a regional council member on the Youth4UHC movement based in Kenya, the steering committee member of the Fight Inequality Alliance Zambia, and the Central Command Team member of the Youth4Parliament movement, a social movement championing for meaningful participation of the youth in Zambian politics.
Mary Mwaba is a core team member of Youth4Parliament. She joined the movement in 2019. She is a graduate of the University of Zambia. She is passionate about youth and women leadership, governance, human rights, and sustainable development.
Andrew Machila is a young person from the southern part of Zambia. He is certified in agriculture, ICT, and irrigation technology. He is the founder and CEO of Andmac Farm, which produces horticultural crops and broiler chickens in the rural district of Chilanga. He has been involved in organizing with Youth4Parliament since 2018 and has been in the core team since February 2019.
Given Musanya Kapolyo, popularly known as the “people’s president,” holds a degree in civic education. She is a vibrant, dedicated, and radical youth and gender activist who joined the movement in 2019 and has grown from a grassroots organizer in the northern province of Kasama to being part of the movement’s core team.
Chimwemwe Zakeyo Mwansa is a young Zambian male who holds a degree in primary teaching and a diploma in journalism and mass communication. He is very passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. He is a person who is always willing to learn more, be more, and do more in all aspects of life.