#YouthDay: We don't have it that easy - Chanuca Vermaak

2016-06-16 07:50
Chanuca Vermaak. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Chanuca Vermaak. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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News24 hands the reins to students for Youth Day 2016

2016-06-15 16:38

News24 invited learners from around the country to spend Wednesday with us, in the run-up to nationwide commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising.WATCH

#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 young people really think about language today.

Some are struggling with literacy. Many don’t have the advantage that others have to go to school and enjoy the free or “cheap” education that some may take for granted. Young people today have so many things that keep them busy, such as: popularity and social media.

Many adults won’t understand a teenager’s struggles. They just always think that it is easy because we are young and have our whole lives ahead of us. But the reality is we actually don’t have it that easy.

Many of us may struggle or have a “little bump in our roads”. The struggle is real and it is getting more difficult every day.

Our children need help. They are so focused on the fact that they are living in a land of poverty that they can’t even focus on their education or school work.

But what do the adults say? “NO! You’re too lazy! ”

- 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.

There are grown persons in a poverty-stricken area that can say; “I am helping my younger generation in a good way." Most children are standing on corners doing drugs or are busy with gang-related issues.

Some children are “bunking” school just to go to friends. To do what? Who knows? But it is certainly not school work. This is how most teenage pregnancies occur.

I think that the main reason why children are skipping school or missing out on school or just simply doing bad things is because of their parents. If they could just keep a watchful eye over their children it would turn out better.

I’m not just talking about the parents who don’t care; I’m also talking about the parents who care too much like parents who push their children to the limit. Some parents do not only cut off their children’s friends, but cut them off completely. Most children who this happens to end up like jail birds or a person who never knew what the outside world looks like.

Many children who grow up like this are shy or is a non-social person. This person is scared to go out and show her/himself. I just hate it so much. The fact that parents would ignore their children so much, just to get a little bit of sleep or a night out. Many children can relate to this problem.

Some children are scarred for life when a parent says some hurtful things to them or just simply beats them up; literally, some children really have the scars. Parents do that if they are so irritated by their children. They would just grab anything and let go at their children.

The fact still stands that language is a powerful key. It is not only about words but actions too. Even if it is Afrikaans, English or French children will respond to it. So the message is, if we should speak to children with a positive or proper language, they would respond and will change for the better. Adults can just listen and try to understand them, it won’t hurt. 

The youth of Soweto fought for their education rights but now the youth of today take their education for granted. We must be thankful for our freedom and education and grab opportunities with both hands.  

* Chanuca Vermaak, 14, is a Gr. 9 pupil at Perseverance Secondary School in Belhar.

Read more on:    cape town  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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