Talent in our community goes unrecognised Precious Gumede

2016-11-03 06:01
 Precious Gumede

Precious Gumede

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AS a journalist I have realised that my job in my community is to become the compass of change and the voice of the community.

It bothers me to see how much talent on South Coast we have that goes unrecognised by our youth structures.

It is amazing how our officials feel proud once they hear that one youth member made it far, be it in a competition or an industry, and it is all over the news.

I feel the powers that be fail to meet the needs of the youth especially in the arts and culture aspect of youth development.

They focus more on giving bursaries to those who perform well in school and they forget that people are gifted in many other ways - some have the brain and others are just talented.

On the South Coast we have our Miss Tourism Universe, we have writers, filmmakers, artists, producers, script writers, musicians, you name it, but when you compare the level of attention they get from youth structures and those who perform well academically, the ratio is ridiculous.

It appears as though talented people are only recognised after struggling their way up in the arts and culture ladder.

I recently wrote a story about a young guy who appeared on our TV screens. Until then he was hardly known by local leaders, but now he is the talk of the town.

When he started his acting career he had to hustle hard, starting at a local NGO, which I also believe does not receive any funding from the municipality.

He received training from his high-school teacher all the way up until he made it to the big time.

Why is it that the arts industry is not popular when there are many underground artists who seek a platform for them to blossom and showcase their talent on?

I think the reason why many of our talented youth turn to drugs and criminal activities is that when they knock on doors for opportunities they are turned away because there is no budget in our municipalities for them to be developed.

Many successful ones work so hard, trying to get educated and acquire skills development in art institutions funded by their grandparents’ grant because many come from bad backgrounds.

Once they have made it they do not only represent their family, they also represent the local municipality, the district and the province.

We must not forget that a few years back that same person was in a youth office seeking assistance and they were turned away.

My point is that youth structures should go into communities to see who is hiding on streets corners, who knows, maybe the next big national star will emerge from there.

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