#YouthDay: Challenge the world with new ideas - Alice Kotze

2016-06-16 13:58
Alice Kotze (Supplied to News24)

Alice Kotze (Supplied to 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 of my dreams. Not dreams for the future, but rather the dreams I was thrown into in my deep sleep. Dreaming is a basic saviour presented to each and every human being.

In a world of synchronised uniforms and silver cellphone screens, it is easy to see society dusting off the creativity from the youth's feet so that no unique footprints remain.

Dreaming is an escape that combats everything logical through purple rivers and flying cats. It is a sign that in our minds creativity is deeply ingrained and not something anybody can unlearn.

As a child I once drew a magical world of forests, only to be told that it was wrong, because my trees were a little bit too unconventional. Increasingly the concept of 'right' and 'wrong' fills up teaching environments, from out-of-the-box answers in debates to pre-school children creating the finest abstract artworks.

As proven by dreams, creativity is within all of us, yet due to the fear of being 'wrong', it is only expressed in a select few of today's youth.

The popular image of these creatives are those who are regarded as hipsters. These hipsters go against the flow, cruising the thrift shops of Long Street in multi-coloured attire, sipping on equally colourful smoothies.

As much as I relentlessly support any person expressing themselves, I do believe that creativity in the youth is something that should be present on every street corner.

Creativity is not something designated to cool people or people who can afford five-flavoured fruit smoothies and glitter jackets. Every single person has the ability and the right to present their creative mind.

Creativity is naturally melted into the brains and bodies of all of the youth, and therefore should be regularly and freely expressed through any medium. 

An ever-present struggle in the South African youth and the world's youth at large, are the ideas of success which institutions enforce. These ideas constantly remind young people that success manifests in those who are academically driven, especially in mathematics and science.

But as important as this is, many people disregard creativity as a part of education. Creativity is the freedom of expression and the power of thinking. 

On 16 June 1976, the youth of South Africa channelled their thoughts into actions which left the country imprinted with the footsteps of free thinking.

This day serves as a reminder to the youth that creativity comes in many shapes and forms.

In order for true success and development to be born, we need to allow ourselves to challenge the world with new ideas.

* Alice Kotze, Grade 12, Westerford High School.

- 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.

Read more on:    cape town  |  youth  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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