From Steve Jobs to Julius Malema: Youth Changing the World

2017-06-16 01:42

Today when people talk about young people, they refer to them as a vulnerable group that needs to be held with kid gloves. But the youth factor in society is a fighting force, the hard boiled raw passion that changes the world and shift paradigms.

In this article we look at three personalities who through their zest of youth took matters in their own hands and changed lives. As you shall see these three personalities come from quite different and varied backgrounds and their lives cover different times. The purpose is to show inherent qualities of youth that are universal and knows neither race nor background. The qualities are timeless and skin deep, beyond the surface color we wore.

The purpose is not to compare and contrast these personalities, that will be like comparing apples and peaches really.

June 16, is Youth Day in South Africa, a holiday. Is good to look back at the events of 1976, but we should do so in considering the broader youth factor that is accessible even today. When we do that we enable every young person to realize that, even he himself or her herself has a giant power lying within that just needs to be awakened. The purpose of history should be to inspire current generation to take on the world and affect the future. The history of June 16, 1976 should do just that.

The United Nations, for statistical consistency across regions, defines 'youth', as "those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States". South Africa defines youth as a period from round age 14 to age 35.

Within the entire period that covers the youth span there is a category that has come to be called emerging adulthood. Emerging adulthood is a phrase developed by psychologist Jeffrey Arnett. Arnett has also founded the Society for Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) to which I am a member. SSEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding of development in emerging adulthood. The first Conference on Emerging Adulthood took place in November 2003 at Harvard University.

Jeffrey Arnett regards 18 to 29 age bracket as emerging adulthood. Age 21 has always been a critical factor within that span. And it is this age 21 that we consider three personalities coming from quite various backgrounds and times.

Steve Jobs

At the age of 21 Steve Jobs together with his friend Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers.  Apple under Steve Jobs went on to change the world quite radically. Steve Jobs popularized the use of personal computers. Today it is hardly difficult to think of life, be it the workplace, business or home, without personal computers. Steve Jobs also revolutionized the music industry and popular culture with iTunes.

Steve Jobs went on further to revolutionized education and business with iPads. iPads are a feature of the modern day scholar and business person. These are just few examples, the fact is Steve Jobs changed the whole way of life in many ways.

 Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. - Steve Jobs

Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud lived from 20 October 1854 to 10 November 1891. He was a French Poet.

By age 21 Rimbaud has already completed his great work Illuminations. All his poetry was written before he turned 21. He stopped writing completely at age 21. Rimbaud was a restless soul who affected a generation of writers and society. He broke cultural norms and set new ones. He almost lost his mind in the process of writing some of the most revolutionary verses of his time. Rimbaud was an anarchist who in one poem called for the downfall of “Emperors / Regiments, colonizers, peoples!”.

In depth, breath and creativity the poetic works of Rimbaund are without precedence. He became the sign and the seeds of things to come. Between 1870 and 1871 Rimbaud ran away three times from his family's farm in Roche, near Charleville on the French-Belgian border. In August he went to Paris but was arrested at the train station for traveling without a ticket and was locked up in jail. After release he spent several months loafing around in France and Belgium, his mother made a search of him through the police and was later found and brought home.

As I descended in the impassable rivers I no longer felt guided by ferrymen. 

Life is the farce which everyone has to perform  - Arthur Rimbaud

Julius Malema

At the age of 21 Julius Malema burst into the South African public landscape with thunder and lightning. It was on Friday May 24, 2002 that he led a whirlwind student march that engulfed the streets of Johannesburg like a tsunami. He was marching against the lack of security in the schools and the draconian measures imposed on students; the locking of school gates, trapping students inside the schoolyard the whole day.

During that time Malema was very inexperienced leader and organizer, the march soon broke out into chaos, looting, kicking and smashing of shop windows. It was mayhem as hawkers were shoved and pushed and their stalls overturned - tomatoes kicked around.

Julius Malema had maintained that marchers were not responsible for the chaos and looting, “it was thieves that hijacked the march”.

Whatever happened at that fateful Friday, a Julius Malema at the age of 21 was introduced to the South African public space.

Today with EFF, Julius Malema is guiding and leading a highly disciplined and highly efficient mass movement political organization. Malema through EFF has led massive marches and rallies of hundreds of thousands of people without one little scratch on any public property. High discipline and peace characterizes EFF marches and rallies. The firing youthful tempo of Malema is still there but has since been channeled in rebuilding of a nation that is being battered, destroyed and raped by scoundrels.

With the exclusive help from EFF, South Africans are experiencing fresh and renewed government in South Africa’s biggest Metro, Johannesburg and Tshwane. Both these Metros represent the heartbeat of South Africa. They have long been a wasteland brought down into utter darkness by the ANC.  They were havens of massive corruption. If there was no EFF, for sure the rot and the darkness would have continued and deepened.

When Julius Malema was kicked out of the ANC - because he criticized the imperial presidential tendencies of President Zuma and also demanding economic freedom for all people - he could have thrown his hands in the air and went back to his home to Limpopo and said: “This is too hard, I quit”. But he did not quit. He refused to give up on South Africa.

In the coming national elections, taking place in 2019, the EFF has become the centre stage with complete absolute and total powers to determine the direction of this country. Chances are that they will have absolute powers to determine who becomes the president of South Africa. 2019 is only a preparation for 2024 for EFF.

The EFF is last hope for massive industrial development to create millions of jobs. Let South Africa elect honourable people who uphold the Constitution. Parliament has failed this democracy - Julius Malema

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