The Voice of The Youth Can’t be Silenced

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

Gun violence has once again taken centre stage with all the recent school shooting incidents in the USA. Instead of inflicting fear and anxiety; these incidents inspired the young people of America to rise up and raise their voices in support to the groundswell sentiment and call to remove guns from their society. And to make their schools and communities safe places to inhibit once again. Speaker after speaker delivered speeches which not only resonated with global audiences, but they have become role-models and spokespeople for the younger generation of today.

These speeches went beyond the a-gun-free-society it also echoed the plea to end discrimination, racism and violence against young girls.

The 9-year-old granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. told marchers at the Washington, DC, rally that she has a dream of her own.

“I have a dream that enough is enough,” Yolanda Renee King said, recalling her grandfather’s famous 1963 speech delivered from nearly the same place on the National Mall. “That this should be a gun-free world. Period.”

The actions of these youngsters are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprising in Soweto, which paved the way for a democratic South Africa of today. With the growth of globalisation and accessibility; more young people are exposed, interested and educated on matters affecting the world.

“Morning sir, I want to thanks for the opportunity you give us, everything you do for our teams is a good thing because when you take us to the race or gym is the time we are not involved in the community problems such as Crime and Using drugs. I hope you will not loss the hope to us god must give you power because sir u love people, sports, kids and improvement of people. Thank you very much Mr Mike Tippet”

Olwethu Nodolo from Mathew Goniwe School, Mitchells Plain.

One of the biggest challenges our Youth is faced with today in South Africa is unemployment. Youth Unemployment according to Stats SA stands at 51.10% as recorded in January 2018. It is a slight improvement from the 52.2% as recorded in the third quarter of 2017. Unemployment amongst the Youth paves the way for so many social and national challenges for the country in the broader scheme of things. The President of South Africa launched in March 2018 a new initiative called YES - Youth Employment Services, with the aim of providing 1 million young South Africans a paid for work experience over the next few years. This initiative is a partnership between government, business, labour and civil society and spearheaded by the President.

Youth Unemployment has both direct and indirect social consequences and undesirable implications for any society. Societies are faced with under-age drinking, teenage pregnancies, crime and violence just to name a few consequences.

Finding solutions for unemployment is not only a government problem. It requires involvement, solutions and ownership by all stakeholders within an eco-system such as South Africa.

The youth are also classified as Millennials or Generation Y. This segment of the market has its own set of characteristics, ideals, value systems and ideologies. It is very different to generations before them, which will require a shift in how society engage, converse and understand generation Y and their complete unique worldview. This segment of the market is far more aware and support responsible manufacturing and production of goods. Sustainability and protection of the environment are key considerations for them.

Millennials are also less loyal to brands, companies and their countries of birth. Freedom for expression, movement and individuality are also integral identifiers of this market segment. Does this mean that they will not be patriotic and support their countrymen at sporting events? Still be seen or reported on.

The Sports Trust with its mandate of contributing to addressing past imbalances by investing and providing opportunities for the youth of this country will continue to deliver on its vision to ensure inclusivity, hope, opportunity and provide platforms for our future leaders to realise their dreams. We appreciate and understand that the success of any country is dependent on how well it accommodates, plan, debate, engage and listen to the needs of their young people as important audience to ensure betterment of all people and prosperity.

Instead of attempts to silence the Youth, rather create more opportunities to advance their agendas and aspirations. When the Youth get involved in questionable actions, it is purely an attempt by them to be heard and not to silence their voices.

The Youth of Today We Salute You!

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