Listen to Teenagers Talking
By Presylia Maziezi
I believe that I am an open-minded kind of person, always finding new, exciting ways to do things because to me it feels like it’s where I find myself, where my inner peace is and where I get to set my imagination free. I believe that in life there is no greater weapon than the power of knowledge. If you don’t update yourself with new information that’s happening in your world, then how are you going to improve yourself?
Being the first born in a family of five, I wouldn’t say that it’s hard but it can be handful sometimes and a lot of people are looking up to you, expecting you to lead by example, to always have good grades and to be the first to provide for the family when you finish school and that puts a lot of pressure on you. So when someone asks me what my hopes and dreams are, I don’t have a simple answer to their question. I want to travel, meet new people, eat different kinds of food and learn more things about how other people live their lives. I want to continue my schooling, go to university and if God allows, open my own company but the problem with our society today is that every young person has a voice but we are not given the ears to be heard and that is harming youth people today.
We are given power to control our future but we are not allowed to use it. The government claims that power will get over heads or that we’ll run out of control but how will they know that if we as the youth are not given the chance to use it? It’s hard for me to get a good education or go to a good university because I am not a citizen, because I don’t have a South African ID. It hurts to know that we still live in a country where a black man will hate another black man because they don’t share the same nationality.
It’s hard for a country to just change overnight. We live in a society where people forgive but never forget so it makes it hard for people to trust. When I’m walking down a street or going somewhere with my family, we get looks from people like we don’t belong here just because we don’t speak the same language as them and that’s really bad. I wish we can be more united.
I also want the school system to change, where learners are more hands on about the change they want to see in their schools. I want the government to change the school system where only white children go to rich schools and black children go to poor or not upper-class schools. Maybe if the government listens more to the youth, things will change.
* This article was first published in the City Press on 30 October 2016 o page 5