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]