I have always been intrigued by the township culture of Izikhothane, that of extravagantly priced dress, excessive ultramel indulgence and questionable behaviour.

Its origins are in the culture popularised by Zulu migrant workers in the hostels called “oSwenka”, who dressed in expensive Italian suits and held contests for the best dressed, a respectable form of entertainment.

The youngsters have taken this to the extreme, ridiculing those who cannot afford overly colourful and highly priced clothing.

The main problem with Izikhothane is peer pressure.

I recently read of a young boy who took his own life as he could not afford a pair of carvela shoes.

He was not the first to give in to the pressure of this lifestyle.

This emphasises how life at the fragile age of 14 is measured by the type of clothes one has to wear to gain acceptance.

The most painful thing is that most of these youths are giving in to a lifestyle they cannot afford; being a teenager for them is no longer about how intelligent, funny or kind you are, it is about what label you are wearing and how many gold teeth you have.

If parents continue to support this lifestyle instead of guiding these youngsters, they too are contributing to the downfall of society.

If these youngsters could put as much effort into school as they do into keeping tabs on expensive trends we would have a highly educated youth.

Instead of comparing notes on science and maths they compare shoes, alcohol and shades, why can we not build a nation of youth who accept circumstances and enjoy the gifts that life can bring to those who work hard to attain their goals.

Patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait, those are not just fables, they are true to life.

Khuleka Mbanjwa, Pretoria