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You(th) we need you to vote……

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.
Adlai E. Stevenson
 
It is well documented in the history books that this liberation came at a cost of human life at worst. We were indeed liberated for a cause. A cause to honour freedom and all the responsibility that comes with it. One such responsibility is the duty to participate in democratic processes.

As the current year draws to a close, the coming year promises to be a fun in the political landscape. You might be aware that 2014 is the year in which we as a country will be electing a new leader, or a new ruling party. A leader who will take our South Africa to a path of prosperity, a path that will ensure that every human being concede equal citizenship no matter the abuse by those we seem to elect.

For the status quo to prevail someone with a powerful voice as yourself will need to take an apathetic stance and choose not to partake in this crucial activity bestowed by democracy and freedom. Within your inner being, therein lies a powerful force which can see a ruling party relinquishing its robes to that party you might have voted into government or (if you are happy with the ruling party you just keep the status quo and vote for it).

As one scroll down feeds on social networks, one gets a sense that those who are active on this platforms and also happens to be a large population of our country, the youth are not so much concerned about exercising the right that many people died for, the right to vote. Young fellows, lend me your ear, however disillusioned you are about the prevailing state of affairs in our country, deciding against voting is committing an error in judgement, an injustice if I may tell you.

As you head toward the ballot box next year, keep in mind many people who laid down their lives, so that me and you, can be able to exercise this democratic right called voting. Be an active citizen, vote well because the truth of the matter is that this is a privilege that most people in the world are deprived of. You could have been born in a country where absolute monarchy is still the order of the day….. just give it a thought?

Cometh the hour, put down your smartphones and vote. I have heard many people saying they will not be voting. Now saying that you will not be voting is tantamount to irresponsible utterances. I suggest that instead of abstaining altogether from voting, you rather spoil the ballot.

It seems sinister on the surface to spoil the ballot, but is equally powerful as electing a particular party or a particular individual. Spoiling the ballot for me in particular means that there is no alternative party that I trust with my cross. I can also argue that, by opting for this seemingly no-brainer exercise called spoiling the ballot, that seek to communicate to those in power that as much as I would like to vote, there is no party that speaks to my needs and I am quite discontented by the prevailing state of affairs.This too is a loud voice, it is louder than those vuvuzela at a soccer stadium between the two Soweto giants.

Therefore, young soldiers, it is an irresponsible thing to utter something as “I will not be voting”. the dangerous aspect of this talk is that your silence might hinder the change that a certain political party so desperately need.

Without your vote, our democracy is hollow. As a matter of fact, never discount the value that your single vote have. It remains a potent tool in our democratic state to effect change (…and in Justice Malala’s word) “and a new order which will make a real difference in your life”.

Until 2014, let freedom reign…!!!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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In the days of our youth

Where is better life promised to us?

The book penned by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities  opens with a line that is full of contradictions that reads as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Every time when I hear about the agonising stories of the poor South African youth, I wonder aloud why are we still taking a back seat in the issues that affects young people. Stories like half of the unemployed are youth, the majority of the graduates are still unemployed and the rate at which drug and other substance abuse is so rife amongst these people. Personally, I am quite a conversationalist and many a times I find myself sparking debates on subjects that makes those I converse with uncomfortable. The advantage of doing so is that you get different views from different people and you end up with a through understanding of wide variety of subject matters.

I refer you back to the opening paragraph of this article? Which kind of times are South African youth living in? (is it worse or best of times?). The theme of that opening line by Charles Dickens in his book “A Tale of Two Cities” is TIME. Time is of the essence here, and perhaps what we need to explore is whether South African government is delivering for its people. Do the moral compass of those charged with governance in the cabinet care about the well being of ordinary South Africans in general and of youth in particular?

What would happen if the youth of South Africa start being characterized by the following qualities Think|Dream|Lead?

Leading and ruling in the days of our youth must be the most interesting activity to do. I mean the youth of this country are very chilled, apathetic about the developmental issues concerning them and they seem not to challenge the status quo. Very few young people participate in diplomacy issues and social enterprises to name but two. They never seem to complain. The question I am pondering on in this post is “have the youth of the country thrown a towel or are they just apathetic?”

The wealth of knowledge and intellect that is lost in the street is astounding because of rising unemployment rate especially amongst young graduates. The elephant in  the room here is unemployment and as soon as many young people realise that, it will be the start of something that would be historical. Are we immune to protest against the government? Are we scared? I do not doubt even for a moment that the day the youth of this country realise that they are being taken for a ride by the government of the day ‘mark my words’ we will witness a very huge protests.

Moeletsi Mbeki, the author of Architect of Poverty: Why Africa’s capitalism needs changing, is promoting the idea that argues that South Africa is facing the possibility of greater social upheaval due to high levels of youth unemployment. In fact, according to Statistics South Africa, 72% of the unemployed are between the ages of 15-34 years old. I tend to agree with the Predictions made by Mr. Mbeki owing the fact that – spatially speaking – poorer communities are dominated by service delivery protests this days that usually ends in horrible fatalities and some of the local councillors perish as a result.

It very possible, for what is being predicted by leading social analyst that the Arab-Spring type of activity might emerge in South Africa. Will it be difficult to organised such a protest? I do not think so considering the fact that coordinating protest in poorer communities is an everyday phenomena and this can further be enhanced by technological advancement such as smart phones and social networks.

In my humble self, I honestly think that we are sitting on a ticking tine bomb with a ring of fire in the vicinity.

To those young men and women who have done their duty and still remain unemployed, I say “Dream a whole lot louder”. A lot louder in a sense that you should use your intellectual rigour to engage with any power that might be to challenge the status quo!!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Economics, General, Leadership

 

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