South Africa belongs to the people, so take control

2014-02-10 05:55

I am angry, I’m disappointed and I’m frustrated. We, the youth of South Africa are so spoilt. We are so spoilt that it seems like we believe we don’t have to do anything to affect change.

It is so frustrating to come from a generation that (supposedly) knows better but chooses to not use the opportunities presented to them for the betterment of, not only their futures, but their children’s futures.

My generation, Generation “point-fingers and complain but not get involved”, constantly highlights problems, constantly chooses to not get involved,constantly chooses to be anything but 'online activists'- then we wonder why the things we complain about keep failing us.

It is shocking, that so many of us, young people, don’t see the importance that lies in putting a cross on that ballot sheet. It is scary that many of uswon’t even do our own research into the policies and manifesto’s of the many political parties that they have access to. It’s almost as if all we want to happen is for people to keep spoon-feeding us. It is annoying and utterly frustrating that, even in the age of information, we choose to not do their own research.

Dear South African youth, my comrades, listen up: Choosing to not vote is our individual choice, yes, but remember that in the midst of not votingwe are affecting the entire nation. We do not make up this nation alone. A large majority of our country is made up of young people, that means that the power of South Africa’s future lies with US. It is NOT enough to merely complain and hope for the best- it is criminal to do nothing! One cannot change the world from the sidelines.  Let's quit complaining and make use of all that people bled for.

Our ancestors, our friends ancestors, some of our parents, grand parents, fought and died for us to have CHOICE. For us to be able to have oursay. It is an insult to their memory to choose to not use that voice (as tiny as it may seem) and platform that they’ve given us. In many ways, the South African youth, have become pompous: we don't believe we owe anyone, anything. We could care less about 1976; the challenges that Nelson Mandela and his team were faced with to give us the liberties we take for granted; we couldn't care less about the role we have to play to lead our nation to where it needs to be.

South Africa has come a long way since it’s liberation, but we have also failed in many ways. I say “we” because this is our nation and instead of taking control we’ve given away our power. It’s not enough to complain, it’s not enough to highlight problems – find a solution. Get involved.

There are so many young people leaving South Africa because they don’t see a future here. I don’t blame them at all, but I can’t and won’t give up on South Africa just because we’re failing to find systems that work properly. Over and above that, we have a problem of tolerance in our country: we tolerate all the  governmental mismanagement, we tolerate big businesses that collude, we tolerate bad service at all levels. This needs to come to an end.

I do however hold political parties partly responsible; it is imperative that they get their acts together. People are tired of seeing failures, one failure after another. You, leader of our nation, too are crippling the confidence that people have in you. It cannot take 20 years to come up with systems that work. It cannot take 20 years to deliver basic human services. Yes, we are a young democracy, yes we have a long journey to travel still, but we cannot be experiencing 3 cabinet reshuffles in a year, we cannot be dealing with money from the e-tolls being sent overseas while at home we are suffering – I say we because it’s important that people understand that poverty affects us, directly and indirectly, we cannot be a third world country and having our President build a mansion in an area where his neighbours are struggling to make ends meat – we cannot be having children falling down long drops, we cannot be having an education system where children are only required to aim for 30% to pass.

Our country is very complex sociopolitically, but the circus that is our government (and politics in general) is unacceptable. We deserve much more- no, we demand much more.

I am tired of mediocrity. I am tired of us, South Africans, refusing to take control of our country. I have decide to cease with the complaining, and have started working towards changing what I'm unhappy with... what are you going to do?

***Thanks to Tlou Cholo (@TyssAzna) for his contribution to this article.***

You can follow me on twitter: @LeratoMannya

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