The youth at Ikamva Labantu Workshop attended a Writing a Good Essay Workshop at their winter school. The class wrote a group essay Being a teenager in South Africa in 2014.


Peer pressure is a challenge that most teenagers face in life. It can be caused by being in a tough situation; like family problems. For most, it’s because they want to look like other people and get involved with different types of friends. Teenagers want to fit in with what others are doing. Some teenagers are pressurised by friends to smoke drugs, go to parties or get involve with gangsters.

Being a teenager also means you start developing. We try new things and sometimes we find ourselves in relationships. When you are in relationship you need to be honest with your boyfriend and your girlfriend. Some teenagers just get carried away with having a boyfriend or girlfriend and some also date older boyfriends or girlfriends to get money. They do this because of hunger. A relationship is not so bad because you get to love the person you have a crush on, love the person as a friend. A relationship is the best thing in a teenager’s life because we get a chance to take him or her out.

About over thousands of teenagers in South Africa have children. Most children in South Africa are involved in sexual activities because of peer pressure. They often don’t use condoms and contraceptives. Parents should communicate with their kids about sexual activities and the risks involved. They should not avoid educating them about such matters.

Teenage pregnancy can lead to dropping out of school, aborting their children to avoid shame and misery. The children of teen parents get physical or mental disabilities because the teen mothers are not matured for the birth; they are still young. They can end up selling drugs or being prostitutes in order to feed their kids. They forget about their goals and dreams; seeing life as useless.


What does being a teenager in South Africa in 2014 mean to you?