Just the process of thinking about and reflecting on this is hard and painful on its own. That being said, I am one of those hopeful young people that believes we have the power and capabilities to change the trajectory of this country that makes it hard and painful to think about our youth.
Being a young person in South Africa 2022; being a young Black person in South Africa 2022…
A country with one of the highest rates of youth unemployment and some of the highest rates of poverty in the world, is a country against young people. A country with one of the highest murder rates and some of the highest levels of violent crime – rape, sexual assault and femicide – is a country many choose not to want to live in. A country with some of the highest levels of drug and alcohol abuses, is a very depressing country for young people like myself.
The levels of mental health problems among young people – which I believe we don’t talk enough about or do very little about – is an indication of a country failing its youth. This is the sad reality and state of affairs we are faced with on a daily basis.
This year has been and continues to be one of the toughest years for many in South Africa. As a quite youthful population, one of the saddest things today is the fact that our fate remains in the hands of many very old, and majority men, that are entrusted to get us out of the mess we are in.
Many young people continue to tap out of the politics of greed, egos and selfishness of the current form of political parties that exist in SA. This we see every time there are elections.
Though we are failing left right and centre, such as in our education system, I believe we have a very creative young population, capable of taking us out of this mess. I say creative because I believe that is what we need in our politics. Our youthfulness in 2022 provides us with opportunities, which we have to fight for, in how we approach politics and leadership. Unfortunately, we are political beings and every one of the challenges I have mentioned is due to politics.
We have to be political in our approaches and be involved in politics. I am not saying we all should be involved in political parties. In the current manner, form and culture, I despise political parties. But I am deeply involved in politics because I believe in myself as a leader and in many other young leaders I work with and encounter in SA. My politics are reflected through my soccer team, Role Models Football Club, formed to encourage young people, especially young men and boys to tackle issues such as mental health and gender-based violence. This is being creative in our politics.
In creative ways, we can UNLEARN much of what society has taught us that results in where we are, DISRUPT the regressive ways which restrict and keep us where we are, and REBUILD a better country and society for us and the next generations to come after us.
Tell us: How can young people become more actively involved in creatively bringing about change in South Africa?
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