“Freedom is not freedom at all without having a reliable source of income or having access to quality higher, and tertiary education”.
Two key things stand out from 2021 Freedom Day. Firstly, we need to pay special tribute to the struggle icons who fought a long and hard battle to lead South Africa into a post-apartheid dispensation, because that is the foundation that we are standing on as a young generation. Secondly, we need to acknowledge that we’re now currently living in very difficult times. The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled and stifled down many of our hopes and dreams. For this reason, we need to build resistance to the current status quo.
Speaking of our current status quo. We are confronted by a sharp declining prospect in youth employment opportunities in our country. According to the latest Quarterly Force Labour Survey, 8.2 million young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET). We’re also confronted by increasing social instability, with rampant social ills. This is just a glimmer of the current state of affairs.
However, we as young people in our country need to realise that freedom is not freedom at all without having our basic necessities in place. Freedom is not freedom at all without having a reliable source of income or having access to quality higher, and tertiary education.
The buck stops here.
As young people of our county, we are holding the keys to our success, and that means that we have to position ourselves in ways that can lead to employment opportunities opening up. For instance, by asking relevant questions, and seeking towards liberating ourselves – just as those who came before us did.
It is then in this spirit that we need to realise, that the buck stops with us. We have to continuously improve ourselves, sharpen our skills, and harness our prospects, so that when opportunities arise – we should be found equal to the task. Despite the fact that we’re living in an era of the global pandemic and lockdown, our creativity does not need to be locked up. We hold the solutions to the problems, that we’re facing.
How do we challenge the status quo?
How can we challenge our status quo?
● Reach Out: As a young person, you can reach out to organizations that deal with issues you care about, and find out how can join their movement, for example, Gender-Based Violence issues, or you care about issues of youth unemployment, you can also reach out to organizations like Youth Capital.
● Get Active: Use your talents as well, whether your talented in writing, poetry, blogs, or doing podcasts or social media as a medium to speak truth to power, and shape your narrative.
● Mobilise, organise and implement: always look for local stakeholders, or friends that you can group yourself with, so that you may work with them, in order to address a particularly pressing issue in your local community. Also, have a community engagement plan, as to who you can approach for particular issues, or whom you can approach with proposals of fixing a certain issue you care about in your community.
How are you challenging the status quo?