Twaibu Ishmael

The youth need a chance.
Twaibu Ishmael

Twaibu Ishmael is 23 and one of many young people in Malawi struggling for security.

They are the future of their country – but finding the space to flourish is hard. He works on his grandfather’s farm near Manchinga, but due to drought and the Fall Armyworm their maize harvest is less than half of what it was last year.

“Food is scare. We don’t know if there will be enough.”

For his part he’d like to start a small business, but he doesn’t know where he’ll get the money to start it.

“The youth need a chance but we are dependent on our elders. I would like to have a business, try something new, start a shop, but it’s hard to see how it happens.”

As he talks Twaibu fiddles with a small flip phone, common in Malawi.

“It’s hard to keep it charged. There are people with solar panels you can use to charge your phone but, they charge you money to use them. So, no money, no phone.”

Across Africa mobile phones are lifelines of business, allowing money transfers that keep the continent moving. But they also offer a glimpse of a future that seems just out of reach to many.