The youth have been patient, but the state needs to negotiate with us

2018-07-13 00:32

Growing up, my understanding of money was mostly theoretical.

I did not have a practical understanding of the need for large amounts of money or the use of money – this was mainly because what I needed I got and what I wanted was negotiated in good faith.

I did not get 90% of the things I wanted, but I got some throughout the years, and whenever I would it would give me great joy, and I would use whatever I got to its fullest potential and would treasure it.

I have always treasured everything I have.

This is in part because of the understanding I developed at a young age – that you cannot have everything you want in life.

This was done perhaps unconsciously but with precision and care from my parents. It was not done haphazardly, because even though I knew I couldn’t get majority of things I wanted, I usually always understood and knew I was blessed.

I was encouraged from a young age to share. It is something I have done and will continue to do whenever I can.

I would come home from school and tell them about my day – what I did, who I ate with, and the question of how come such a person was eating with me would always come up.

The day after responding to my parents sharing questions I would get extra money to eat with whichever friend was in need, and that was how my parents also allowed my humility to flourish.

This mentality and ability to appreciate what you have is one I have held on to and continue to hold on to, even though the years are moving fast.

I am in the realm of young adulthood today, but I still appreciate what I have.

I understand that I may not have much, but I have something. I still have a plate of food on the table daily, something which many people take for granted, and again which many people do not have.

We are a young nation and perhaps the high levels of discontent expressed by the youth is by virtue of realising that they are getting the short end of the stick.

We are experiencing the highest levels of unemployment as a country, at 26%+, and the figures are worse for black youth and even worse for black women, as the figures more than double compared with that of the country as a whole.

South Africans are extremely patient. It is not a trait I share by myself; it is an African trait.

It moves through the blood parallel with ubuntu and the batho pele principle – which seems to have been lost by those who we have put into power, who seem to have adopted elitist principles.

Perhaps the time has come for youth to care for the youth.

There are many young people who are skilled and that are business minded, yet none of them own anything.

I say this because I am one of them, and when we ask we are told to undergo processes that will only entangle us in bureaucratic red tape.

Is now not the time to force the hand of government to the side of the youth?

There is no better time than now for the government to negotiate with the youth in good faith.

Elon Mogale is a City Press reader who hails from Phalaborwa.

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May 19 2019