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The Key to a More Ethical Workplace? Youth.
November 25, 2019

Edgar delivering remarks at the 2019 Presidential Precinct
Edgar delivering remarks at the 2019 Presidential Precinct

A journalist by profession and a 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow, Edgar Gweshe was drawn from an early age to the social and cultural issues affecting his peers in Harare, Zimbabwe, eager as he was to understand their concerns fully.

Edgar was a “naughty and intelligent” child, as his family tells him, one who “wouldn’t go down without a fight.”

In his current work, which focuses on civic engagement and economic development, Edgar is no less determined, advocating for personal and professional ethics and seeing young leaders as a catalyst for lasting social change.

For Edgar, it’s “the high-level plunder of national resources which has seen many people being deprived in [Zimbabwe].”

Edgar and his peers at the College of William and Mary in 2019
Edgar and his peers at the College of William and Mary in 2019

Equally important, he explains, is dispassion among the state’s youth and the need for sweeping reform.

“The youth have become accustomed to a culture of corruption and bribery,” Edgar says. “They have moved away from ethics.”

Nonetheless, Edgar sees great potential in young leaders to usher in change, especially with the advent of digital media.

“The youth can act as agents for information dissemination and, in the process, get everyone involved,” Edgar says.

“To harness their talents and innovations, we need to ensure that young adults are equal partners and torchbearers.”

In the workplace, Edgar advises young leaders to play off each other’s strengths and compel in each other the desire to be the best version of themselves.

“An inspiring leader knows how to motivate team members as well as how to capitalize on their strengths … he or she is someone who knows how to motivate members under whatever circumstances.”

For Edgar, integrity is a kind of practice, one that takes a concerted effort to live out daily.

“Integrity requires one’s undivided attention and you also need to be of high moral standing,” Edgar says. “It’s a culture to internalize, it’s something that should define who you are.”

Though Edgar admits that the path to integrity isn’t an easy one, he believes that the journey is worthwhile all the same.

“A perfect world is one where we all die striving to make the world a better place.”

Interested in Edgar’s work? Learn how you can take a stand for integrity on our #YALIUnites page. The views and opinions expressed here belong to the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.