How many of us are bored of the phrase: “the youth are the future”. It is often clichéd and overused and sometimes too vague. What is meant by “the future” and who are these “youth” that are responsible for it? There is no allocation of time or indication of age or maturity! It pretty much sounds like an easy out; an excuse so that anyone who gets pasts 35, or anyone who wants out can “pass the buck”, “escape from the race” or “get out of your responsibly quick”.

Why is it that some people bow-out after a certain age and declare that they no longer have a place in society? Who says that they are no longer able to influence or make a difference?

Whenever I speak to people who are older than 35ish, they keep talking about “the youth” and how the future of the country and continent depend on the youth.

The truth is the youth are still trying to figure out what they are going to do with their lives; they are pretty consumed with finding their own way in the world. It is not that they are selfish or self-absorbed, it is simply that they are youth; they are finding their feet. They need mentors and guidance and an older generation that can show them the way to go and can give them the inspiration to plough ahead with a good cause.

To give a personal testimony: my own personal inspiration, my personal vision and drive for a better future comes from my country’s political heroes: Steven Biko, Chris Hani, Neil Aggett, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, as well as my dad, who was an activist against the Apartheid Regime in South Africa. These are my heroes, but more than that, these are the people that built the inspiration for my life. They are the ones who showed me the way to go, the way I should live my life, the values that I should have, and the cause that I champion all my life.

Any dream that we have for our community, nation and city has to start with us and then the vision has to be caught by others.

Our elders, leaders and activists are not our saviours, they are just the starting point, the spring board.

We are not the only one to make it happen. Although I might have the vision, or it might start in my small ground-breaking group, if it isn’t planted and rooted in others it will die with you. Revolutions only happen when everyone stands behind the one that has the idea.


The truth is we are the beneficiaries of what our parents and forefathers saw.

The truth is every generation is the trendsetter for the generations that follow.

The truth is the youth are the future but they need someone to set the trend and spark the vision.

What trend are you setting?


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