A teenage Zimbabwe activist, newly appointed as UNICEF’s Youth Climate Advocate, made it one of his missions to reach out to his fellow young citizens to actively take part in the country’s fight against climate change.
“Young people are the agents of change,” says Nkosilathi Nyathi, 17. “Some of us will be leaders of tomorrow, so it is a must that we are informed about what is happening around us so that we can plan better, sustainable solutions for the future.”
Involved in environmental activism since he was 10, Nyathi has taken the floor at major conventions where he has never failed to plead for leaders to listen to younger generations, as “the climate emergency is also a crisis of children’s rights,” as UNICEF spokesman James Maiden points out, and they “should not be seen as passive victims.” This year, the Zimbabwe government launched a learning strategy for climate change to be added to the school curriculum. Nyathi’s latest project is to build Zimbabwe’s chapter of Fridays for Future, the youth climate movement, alongside fellow young environmentalist Collette Levy-Brown.