The #FeesMustFall movement fought tooth and nail for free education, yet many young people still don’t have access to it., says the writer. File picture: Henk Kruger/ANA
Cape Town - For Youth Day we asked first-year journalism students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to write for us.

Here's Zenande Mgijima's piece.

It’s been 25 years since a new democratic dispensation was ushered into our country,  but we have very little to show for it.

We are said to be free yet in many of the disadvantaged communities many of us live in, we are still plagued by poverty and  unemployment.

Our dysfunctional society  pushes us "born frees" to look for coping  mechanisms in substance abuse; which result  in a range of mental illnesses, teenage  pregnancy and the high crime rate. 

We are a  rainbow nation whose colours have been  sucked by corruption and unfulfilled promises  by those in power.

Born frees are a conscious generation; a  generation that knows their rights, but  doesn’t seem to understand their  responsibilities. 

We can recite the  Constitution in our sleep, but that doesn’t  translate to solutions to the problems we face  daily.

The pre-1994 youth struggled with sub- standard Bantu education, but 25 years into  democracy we are still struggling. 

The  #FeesMustFall movement fought tooth and  nail for free education, yet many young  people still don’t have access to it. 

“Education  opens doors” they say, yet thousands of  educated youth sit at home with qualifications  higher than Table Mountain.

“Many students go to tertiary institutions  trying to get a better future and vacate those  premises with qualifications accompanied by  anxiety and fear of not being employed,” says t heology student Karl-Marx Adams.

Born free but held captive.

* Speak up like the youth of ‘76 by tweeting your opinions and  challenges to the new @GovernmentZA's Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with  Disabilities: Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane using #speakup76 @IOL or write to IOL at [email protected]