The young people of South Africa are in a permanent state of depression and hopelessness. Largely because we have given up the baton.
All revolutions across the world were led by decisive, united and radical young people. The fact that our country is in a speedy state of demise is one that cannot be argued anymore.
The rate of youth unemployment speaks volumes. This dizzying 46.3% unemployment rate of young people was coming – COVID-19 or not. Savanna and the “Yanos” (culture of excessive youth partying) have taken over, the revolution is happening there. But what about the realities that will still remain even after a night of groove?
The true liberation of this country will not happen for as long as we are still stuck in the delusion of drunkenness and twerking.
As we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Soweto massacre, which has been renamed
Youth Day to try and sanitise the reality of the day, young people in South Africa need to have an urgent shift of mind and take upon the task of youth economic liberation upon themselves.
Notwithstanding the fact that, as youth, we are within a permanent stage of depression and hopelessness, our brothers and sisters need to realise that no one is going to come to our rescue.
We have given too much power to old political careerists to destroy our future. These people are busy building and cementing their careers and in doing so, they will make sure that young people do not emerge because they know clearly that once we take power – we will make sure that all criminals rot in jail.
The future belongs to us. All our current leaders will not be with us on earth in 2063. We are the ones who will have to account to the next generations as to why did we allow criminals to lead us and destroy the future.
‘COVID a blessing’
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for young people in the country as it
necessitated the urgency of technological adoption and integration into our lives.
The old generation is still struggling with even clicking a link to join a virtual meeting. This is a field
for young people to play in.
Let us forget the obsession of looking for jobs because that was relevant until the end of the third industrial revolution. This fourth revolution requires us to be innovative and bring about sustainable solutions.
As the electoral system opens for individual candidates, young people should be ready to run for all positions, even if it means challenging a pensioner of a political organisation that you belong in. We need to declare ageism an enemy in public service and government.
The time for young people is now!
I do not believe that when Solomon Mahlangu said we should continue the struggle he
meant that we should do exactly what we saw destroying him. The enemy we are facing today does not have a specific colour.
We need to contest power and challenge ageism everywhere. The only way to win is to forcefully and strategically contest and take power.
We are dreaming if we think that we are going to be given space by the same people who are responsible for our suffering. We need to take up space forcefully and strategically so, not by destroying the little that we have.
Young people are capable, singayisusa nomanini na!
By Kabelo Mahlobogwane, businessman, unionist and public speaker.