#YouthDay: Young people battle to cope with the challenges facing them - Lulutho Ntshakaza

2016-06-15 20:07
Luluto Ntshakaza. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Luluto Ntshakaza. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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#YouthDay - Forty years ago, high school learners from all over Soweto decided to march against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction but today, young people have different struggles. When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are, what will happen at school today, I wonder how the atmosphere will be.

In 1976 many students protested for better education and equal opportunities, but when you look back now and see how the students and learners misbehave and how they treat their parents and teachers, it is unbelievable.

The youth of today do not care about their lives anymore, all that they think of is gangsterism and drugs. The reason for that is because many learners do not know how to cope with the environmental issues that they face.

Many young people get depressed because they do not fit into a certain group of learners. In order to fit in they start to smoke in front of teachers so that they would be seen as “cool”, they believe that no teacher can tell them what to do even though they do it at school.

The freedom that the youth of 1976 fought for has now changed the way that young people face their challenges against Afrikaans.

They now usually run to drugs instead of facing their enemies because instead of them creating a better future for themselves, they run to gangsters and also start to do drugs.

Now that they have the opportunities to go to the best schools without being discouraged by the white people, they turn their backs on the youth who died in 1976. Young people of today do not care about anyone but themselves, they do not care about anyone’s feelings (not even their own parents).

The reason why our youths act the way they act is because they lack confidence in themselves and they feel neglected by the government.

In South Africa there are still schools that are ... in huts and old houses that have no roofs, and in 1976 black people believed that the reason why their children are suffering is because of the white people’s governance.

- News24 will give the youth a voice on our platforms for Youth Day. A group of learners share their thoughts with you. What does youth day mean to you? Let us know your thoughts here.

Now that the ruling government is black people, still the majority of black children do not go to school, because of the situations that they live under where there is no one to take care of them.

They rather go and sell their bodies or become thieves to make money so that they could not go to bed on an empty stomach. Still, I’m not saying that the government does not go around to villages and create better opportunities for the poor young black people.

Poverty is the root of all evil because there are celebrities that were once known as the most feared thieves and gangsters, not because they wanted to become those things, but because of the situation they lived in.

What inspires me the most is to see ex-convicts trying to tell the youth about how hard it is to be in prison. There is an Afro-soul musician called Nathi. Nathi was the most feared person in his community. He went to jail for car hijacking and stealing, but when he was in prison he told himself that he will never set foot in a prison again.

When he speaks now he says, seeing his mother suffering alone without his father caused peer pressure and depression then he decided to be a gangster. But now he is an example to the youth that is still growing and suffering, the same way he did. He has found his talent and is doing something with it.

Young people should take charge of their lives and future. They should not let their situation take charge of their lives because that can lead to depression and after depression you cannot take control of anything.

I always say that the future relies on us, which means that the future leaders are young people with dreams and a future.

Young people must look back at what happened in Soweto in 1976 and appreciate what we have now. We can study freely and reach our dreams so we should not let the fight for freedom be in vain by not taking advantage of our rights.

* Lulutho Ntshakaza, 18, is a Grade 11 pupil at Perseverance Senior Secondary School in Belhar.

Read more on:    cape town  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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