Twenty- three year old Sibongiseni Ngcobo will be sworn in as the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) next week. Ngcobo is 67 years younger than Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi who will be the oldest returning MP, aged 90 years.

The average age of the new batch of MP’s is fifty. Ngcobo was born a year after South Africa’s first democratic poll. He hails from Bulwer in Southern KwaZulu-Natal, where his farmworker parents raised five children.

His interest in politics was sparked by a poster of cabinet ministers in his grade 6 classroom. It developed into a full-blown consciousness after learning about struggle icons in history lessons.

He relocated to Richmond as high schools in Bulwer did not offer history as a subject choice. “The stories of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired me greatly to a point where I started to feel that I want to be like them. For instance, when Martin Luther King Jr says that, ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,’ so I said to myself I have to be involved in politics and I have to bring positive change and help people,” says Ngcobo.

The former Democratic Alliance (DA) Councillor holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has also enrolled for an LLB at the same institution.

“ My experience here as a DA Councillor has been eye opening, together with my colleagues we have exposed corruption and maladministration happening in this municipality. We have also advocated for projects like Indaleni library. These are some of the achievements we have managed to achieve over the past two years.”

Ngcobo wants to use his ascendance to Parliament to help fight high unemployment levels in the country.  Author- Bongani Gema