UDM appoints its youngest secretary-general to date

Yongama Zigebe, secretary-general of United Democratic Movement (UDM). l SUPPLIED

Yongama Zigebe, secretary-general of United Democratic Movement (UDM). l SUPPLIED

Published Apr 20, 2024


As some ardent politicians would affectionately say, that the revolution was not stagnant, so as that time comes with change and the creation of new tradition.

This can be attested by the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) youngest secretary-general in the country among the political parties.

One would be forgiven to think that the most traditional of political parties, such as the UDM, would entrust one of its youngest rising stars to head up the most stressful and powerful office ever.

Saturday Star sat down with the Yongama Zigebe yesterday (Friday) to discuss his political career and on his decision to join a party such as the UDM as opposed to a young party such as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Zigebe said the decision to join the movement was an easy one as the dedication of the organisation’s leader, General Bantu Holomisa, to build the country’s democracy was unwavering.

“His track record in history, notably as one of the first whistleblowers against corruption when it wasn't fashionable, speaks volumes about his principles and integrity. Despite risking everything, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of truth and continues to fight for justice. The UDM's principles and policies, which align with my values, also drew me to the party,” he said.

Zigebe said working alongside the political veteran Holomisa had helped him shape his belief in pursuing a prosperous country, adding that it was also insightful and challenging.

“His wealth of experience and leadership in the party offer invaluable lessons for the younger generation. He not only inspires us, but also imparts wisdom on leadership and life. His humility despite his stature as a leader is truly remarkable.

“It's an honour to be mentored by someone of his calibre; a man who prioritises the people over personal security, symbolising true leadership,” he added.

Zigebe said his typical day revolved around managing administrative tasks, coordinating with party structures nationwide and representing the UDM's interests across various platforms.

Apart from running the organisation from the party’s headquarters in downtown Pretoria, he also takes it upon himself to inspire his peers and the younger generation, in fostering a sense of unity and purpose within the party.

“While I wield influence as SG, it's essential to recognise that power within the UDM lies with the party's leadership and members. Our leadership style is bottom-up, emphasising the importance of grassroots involvement and decision-making, echoing the mantra ‘Amandla asemasebeni’."

He concluded by saying that in the next five years, he sees himself contributing immensely to the growth of the UDM’s success and advocating for its values and goals with even greater fervour.

“Whether through policy initiatives, community engagement, or party organisation, my commitment to advancing the UDM's vision for South Africa remains steadfast.

“Also, to continue my continental and international advocacy work with Change Africa Conference that is to be held in September in Nelson Mandela Bay marking the first annual conference, (thereby) growing this baby with IFED Global and taking up other international or global leadership tasks,” added Zigebe.

Saturday Star

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