Monday, 25 August 2014

WHAT SAY YOU? A StoryMoja Discussion

What first comes into your mind when you hear descriptions about youth? A lot has been labeled on this group of people: engaging in careless sex, frivolous spenders or wanting that get-rich-quick life, drug addicts unemployment and so on. But the question begs: Is that our identity as the youth?   Are they completely limited to the title and shenanigans of immorality and hopelessness?
Do we as youth deserve this label? Is it completely true? Is that all we are? Are we forever doomed to that title? Is there something we can do to change this?
In a bid to answer these pressing questions I sought the good old dictionary and this is the definition

Youth: young people considered as a group.

Obviously I fall into this age group; I am not here to judge but to simply air my views and observations.
In my opinion I see youth as an opportune moment of potential, talent, strength and vigor. Youth is a time when life’s most crucial decisions are made: career, long time life plans and so on. To me young people are brilliant gold mines waiting to be dug: the ideas they have, the creativity and enthusiasm for life: great tools to build any nation. This is especially so for us tech savvy people (if you are reading this you are too) We have tons and tons of information online, we are connected with each other all over the world = able to see and be inspired by the great innovations going on elsewhere.  When we look around especially if you live in Africa, there is so much we can innovate/create/ provide service as youth to better ourselves and the economy.
I believe anyone who lives in Africa especially in this digital era is capable of bringing great change to this continent.  I look around me and I always see potential, job opportunities, innovation opportunities. 
I do  A LOT  of research online I have a knack of knowing things. I look at other continents and see people as old as I am creating the Tumblrs etc ; my question is, what stops us from innovating? We are equally intelligent and capable and I dare say have even more opportunities to invent and create things here.

To me the label placed on the youth is just a label, there are some facts that are true but in the end, it is just a label. This label does not stop you or me from being amazingly awesome in our respective fields.
Let us not live in this mediocrity just because it is the the status quo it does not completely mean that is what we should adhere to.

I’d love to know, who are the youth to you? Is the above described titles befitting? How are you making a difference?
Join me this Friday from 5PM at the Storymoja offices in Springvalley as we carry on this discussion.


Miss Tessy Maritime said...

I share your sentiments. You put it perfectly by saying "Youth is an opportune moment of potential, talent, strength and vigor". We have the world at our hands, and African youth especially have so much to tap in to. Through The Arena, I've met many amazing young people doing big things. The youth pursuing purpose largely outweigh those who are not. They are setting the pace. They are changing the face of our economy and the continent at large.

We owe it to ourselves to encourage as many youth as possible to get on this bandwagon. Labelling doesn't help, it only hurts.

Leon Tororey said...

It was the great African-American political and urban activist Huey Newton who said that 'The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.' As you put it in our time we face new revolutions as the digital age, globalization, economic growth and the self realization of African democracies. These are ships which we may not have released from the dock but we are left with in the high seas, it therefore is our burden and indeed opportunity to harness all potential available and create a defining era of prosperity and equality.

As naysayers may have it, I dare rebut and say too that they shouldn't forget previous youthful decadence as the counterculture of recreational drugs in the 60s. The African youth has weathered the AIDs pandemic that was climaxed at the turn of the millennium, now combating it with success. We have challenges as all generations before us, but what they lack in spent time, we have in potent aspirations and capabilities for the future. Lets make it count.

J. Atieno Okiro. said...

"To me the label placed on the youth is just a label, there are some facts that are true but in the end, it is just a label. This label does not stop you or me from being amazingly awesome in our respective fields."
Kudos girl... Nice Piece

Anonymous said...

Many of the youth today in Africa, (ok I shouldn't generalize so leme stick to the country i do know about which is Kenya) don't see the opportunities we have at home we'd much rather go aboard and try our luck rather than starting something here on our home ground. this mentality needs to change people need to have more faith in their own country rather than someone else's.
we need to embrace our opportunities here rather than out there.
like you said we are Awesome so we should stick to our awesomeness here at home

EK STYLE said...

I am in full agreement with this post. I believe that the world in general needs to place more emphasis on recognizing the positive factors about the youth. If the world began to magnify the positive factors regarding the youth, above every negative label that has been formerly placed upon the youth, I believe the youth would be more likely to thrive towards those positive factors and digress from deviant behaviour.

As it has been discussed, the youth face an extremely crucial period in their lives. It is in this crucial period that sincere mentorship is needed. As a young tree needs the support of a strong structure in order for it to grow in the right direction, so it is with the youth. I believe if the youth had more support systems in the form of role models and mentorship, the youth would be in a better position to grow towards their highest potential.

Nicole M said...

I tend to agree with you on this one. As much as we have labels it should never define who we are and hinder us from reaching our dreams. I am truely happy of late because I am seeing more youth fighting the tags hooked to them and making tremendous efforts in all their respective fields. The hunger of success has never been stronger in Kenya and in Africa and I'm glad that these platforms are increasing so as to reach more youth.Keep them coming.

I make a difference with my personal style blog where i love to motivate and inspire the youth through my personal style.

Anonymous said...

I vehemently concur! It's that little spark that grows into an uncontrollable fire...that's the youth I see we just have to be brave enough to know that we need not fear the fire but embrace it!

ChezMaureen said...

Spot on!