The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is poised to be, and afterwards remain a historical process. Regardless of whichever route it takes and whether it will fizzle out and be overtaken by events, it has carved its space in our minds. First as a product of the handshake deal that gifted it political goodwill and support from the government and second, as a process that has witnessed strong support and fierce opposition not because of its contents but because of its proponents. Third and most importantly, it will be remembered as a process that came in an age of youth consciousness but conveniently and successfully sidelined the youth in all its stages.
From the formation of the taskforce that went round collecting views from the public, to the audience given to different groups to have their say, one would easily come to the conclusion that the think-tanks behind this process didn’t factor in the youth right from the beginning. It then begs the question, Are the youth too laid-back to fight for their space, or the space to fight for isn’t there to begin with?
It was often said before, that cartoonists have a special place in reserved for them in hell but time and events have convinced us that their place could be in heaven after all. How they manage to speak truth to power and still remind us of known truths, all through what comes off as a joke is a gift that only God could sanction. The various depictions of the BBI and its take on the youth and women all speak of neglect. For the women at least, there are powerful women with access to powerful offices in the land who are bargaining for their positions post a BBI referendum era, the same can’ t be said for the youth, however.