Have you asked them?

Why are more than 1 million born frees not registered to vote in the up coming elections?

We are quick to say that we are all responsible for building our nation and being responsible citizens. One way of being responsible citizens in the plight for nation building is by voting, we tell them. I often wonder if by not voting they become irresponsible citizens who cares nothing for their country, its past, present or future. I think it’s a bit presumptuous and arrogant to make such statements without considering the reasons behind the actions. I think it also fails to understand or take into consideration the idealism of our young people and their developmental processes.

As an adult born before 1994, I am conflicted for whom to vote. I am someone who understands the liberation from our historic pain, someone who has known what it means to live in a township riddled by gang violence, substance abuse and a general sense of lostness due to group removals. I am a person who has experienced crime and violence on countless occasions, unemployment and an apathy due to the effects of the past. And while I am not one who normally plays the historic injustice card, it is easy to play the victim and blame the past for these things and yet the converse is true as well. If I did not experience these things I would not understand the historic past and say that it is all excuses for not taking responsibility for my own life. The reality of today exists because of our past. I am conflicted about who to vote for.

Therefore, I find it distasteful that we so quick to pressure our young people to vote for the liberators because that’s the right thing to do, otherwise we would still be stuck in the past. Or if we vote for any other party we would be guilty of bringing back the oppressors to power. I find it distasteful when we pressure our young to vote for the opposition parties because if we do not then we are guilty of condoning corruption and reversing apartheid. Vote against corruption. Vote for the party that delivered us from evil. Vote for service delivery. Vote for justice. Vote for jobs. Vote for … Vote for … And if you don’t vote you do not have a say! The emotional blackmail and guilt of not voting forced upon our vulnerable and impressionable is not a very responsible stance by our adult community.

We may assume our young people may not be all that interested in the past. Or we may assume, instead, that they are more concerned about their future. But by interviewing five young people to find out why they won’t be voting is too simplistic and irresponsible and bad empirical research. We are attempting, even forcing, our opinions as the adult community upon our young people and are not willing to sit down and find out what matters most to them. While the recent spate of news coverage as to why the born-frees are not interested in voting might be a bit too late for this election, it may not be too late for the future of the country.

Rage Festival! A Celebration or Derailment?

Rage

Okay, so maybe I am a prude! Maybe I am anachronistic, old fashion or maybe hanging too tightly on my morality and Christian beliefs in a time when it has become unfashionable and outdated. Maybe I am too far off the mark of what is fun and hip and letting your hair down. Maybe I do not understand the pressures of being a matriculant in 2013 and the need to blow off steam and party for two weeks as a means of recuperation from the past 12 years. maybe I just don’t get it? But that doesn’t remove any discomfort and concern with what is happening! And yes, I do acknowledge that there are young people who do not fall into this category, so it might just be a gross generalisation – for that I am sorry!

 

I have watched many American films with shock and fear and disgust over the event of Springbreak where licentious behaviour, promiscuity, alcohol and drug use is the “fun” of the party. Maybe I do not understand that culture or being American that I miss the message and aim of such events completely! But when this something that I don’t get or understand makes its way to our shores surely then I should have enough concern of “Springbreak” on our doorsteps. Springbreak? What Springbreak? What am I talking about?

 

Maybe the Rage Festival rings a bell? What is that? Well it’s definitely not a new thing. It’s inception dates back to 2001 where matriculants head off to destinations for two weeks to let down their hair and just party party party! But what happens at theses parties? Why am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Why am I on about this event when it’s just a bunch of underage teenagers having fun with the blessing and finances of their parents and well-known sponsors?

Have a look at the latest news clips of what is happening at these events… Plettenberg Bay; KZN . More than 300 condoms sold per day per store. “20 youngsters a day in here asking for the morning-after pill” implying unprotected sex. What about alcohol consumption or any other narcotic (anybody today knows that such parties are not free of narcotics)?

How do we tolerate and grant the blessing and condone an event that could derail or damage the future of youth?

Have a look at the code of conduct. Alcohol to consumed in nightclubs only and not in public areas. No inappropriate sexual activity in public places – carry contraceptives, know your status and your partners (plural) and the list goes on. The irony? No under 18’s allowed in the nightclubs! What matriculant is over 18? Really Now!!! And who sponsors this? Vodacom, Blackberry and Stimorol! How disappointing to endorse an event that could derail so many of our young people from a positive future!

Well let me end before this post land me in more trouble than what I will already be in or reveal what an outdated, old and boring person I am who doesn’t understand the meaning of fun or young!

So let me say:

I am all for young people being young and part of being young is by making reckless decisions. What young person always have the capacity to make sound and wise decisions when most adults cannot? For example, what parent (adult) would grant (by paying for) their teenager permission to two weeks of such partying?

I am all for living a life now because who knows if there will be a tomorrow? But act responsibly by doing what is true, honourable, just, pure and commendable so that we, others and God would be proud of us and we won’t look back on a moment of regret!

I am all for celebrating 12 years of hard work. But when we allow and endorse our young people to act and make inappropriate and risky decisions for the sake of letting down hair then we have failed to allow them to celebrate accordingly and have placed an enormous amount of risk on their well-being and future.

Remember while everything may be permissible not everything is beneficial! And remember these are our young people and not adults!

Rage Promo clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-jglfMExo4

A previous rage goer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7Nn-d637qs