COLUMN: Ideas abound, we just need to think proper

2016-06-23 06:00
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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In keeping with the spirit of Youth Month, it requires us all to delve deeper into the issues affecting the young.

Complaints abound about the ineptitude of the youth and our sluggishness; that the only activity we are adept at is lifting a spoon, if not a glass of liquor towards our mouths or basking in the sun.

Some of the criticism is spot on.

I have found the main problem lies with the inability to think out of the box, so to speak.

By that, I do not mean to think about which corner to stand on in order to rob passers-by of their hard-earned cash.

By out of the box I mean to think of meaningful ways in which we make sense of our lives and that of others.

This dawned on me after reading an inspiring story about two young men from Nyanga who have given new meaning to the term ‘recycling’ (Friends share a dream, City Vision, 28 April 2016). Converting ordinary, and unwanted material into furniture, recycling wood pellets and turning them into bed frames, coffee tables or wine cellars, is a gem of a thought.

Lads from impoverished backgrounds, seeing fit to do it for themselves and their community, rather than waiting for hand-outs.

Imagine the risks involved, accompanied by wild doubts regarding their intentions.

The duo soldiered on nevertheless, allowing no obstacle in the their way.

If they can do it, what excuse is there for anyone else not to do same. Their peers?

Most of the things we marvel at today, were once ideas in someone else’s head.

They decided to act on their ideas, and, voilà, theirs became stories for the history books. It started with someone wanting to know what time was is, and they designed the clock, then the watch. There is a lot for our young to do, so long as they put on their thinking caps.

For example, do you ever look around and see how people are suffering from the burden of carrying bags on their backs. This ranges from school goers to domestic workers.

Why not come up with a clever and convenient way of offering a service that would go some way to alleviating that load.

Perhaps form a group and offer to carry folks’ bags from their doorstep to the local taxi rank every morning, for a small fee.

I am sure many would appreciate this gesture, more so because walking in groups that early in the day could turn criminals off.

Not long ago, I heard about a group of youths from Khayelitsha who were thinking of starting an ‘Uber’ kind of service ko kasi, especially for those who enjoy a night out and often struggle to find their way home.

It’s a great idea and would put paid to people drinking and getting behind the wheel. But critics were quick to point out that maybe such a project is not feasible for the kasi environment, and that female passengers would fall prey to these cab drivers.

Fair argument. But find a way to make it work! These young people should be applauded for at least thinking about such a service for their community. Maybe they would do well to try and get a reputable name in the transport industry to partner with them, as well as government and law enforcement. I already picture myself dancing like it is 1999 after getting soused in grog, knowing I will be chauffeured home.

The excuse that there are too many car washes, barbershops and shoe repair containers to go around does not hold water. Heres a story about two barbers: The old barber was marked: ‘We cut your hair for R20.’ The new barber put up a board on the entrance of his business premises, saying: ‘We fix haircuts for R10.’ The rest I leave to your imagination.

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