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I want to see the world being led by young people

As part of our remembrance of June 16th, our Grade 11 learners gave a guided reflection on the meaning of youth, being young, and freedom as well as some of their solutions to the various issues facing their communities. Below are a few of their responses to the questions:

What does it mean to be young?

“Being young means to me being able to do anything I want, choose anything that I want to do in the future and also setting a good example to people that are younger than me.” Siyasanga

“Being young means to be free and to be yourself but it is also the stage of life where you live by someone’s guidance. Being young is the most joyful stage in life because you think less of all the endless lifetime challenges.” Somikazi

“To be young means that our parents look at us to change the problems in our homes.” Lubabalo

“There is not a true definition of being young and being young is not defined by age. Being young means dreaming more and not being satisfied with what you have. It means always wanting more out of life.” Masibulele

“To be young means to be someone who is strong, someone who can change the world by learning from the mistakes that people made before them.” Thandokazi

What does it mean to be free?

“To be free means that I’m now allowed to say no to what I don’t want. I am now allowed to be wherever I want to be.” Bongekile

“To be free means to live your life without anyone standing in your way.” Kamvalethu

“To be free means that you can do whatever you want to do, anytime. You can make all your mistakes and learn from them, then continue with your journey because you are free.” Patricia

In what ways are you ‘not free’? “I am still not free in a way because I still pay school fees. There is no free education. My community only got electricity very recently. We have no nice toilets, no RDP houses and the water taps do not have running water most of the time.”


“Young people are not free these days because there are those who want to take their happiness and pride. There are rapists and criminals who force you to do what they want. Youth have been violated a lot." Viwe

“Young people are not free because of abuse by their parents and some others are not free because they have to play the role of parents.” Sakazi

“Young people are not free because men do what they want to young girls. Abuse, raping, things that will take away a young person’s dream.” Ongezwa

“We are not free because we are not allowed to walk alone in the streets because we can be kidnapped or raped” Alakhe

“I am not free because I am schooling in a school that is old with broken down doors, windows and desks.” Siyabonga

Young people are still the slaves of older people. They are still not allowed to voice their views on issues like the land and the economy.” Ayabulela

“With the current leaders of our country I will never be free. There is corruption all around and we have leaders who use people as bait to create their own wealth. I may have freedom and all the stuff that comes with it but I am far from being free.Onele

What solutions do you have to help your community?

“To free my community I want to create a society that will include the young and elders where they will discuss only the right things for the community”


“I would like to have an eye of police in my community because we are near the tavern so drunk people are not treating us okay.” Kamvalethu

“As a community we must listen to each other's ideas and do what we think is good for our community.” Gcobisa

“The thing that can improve our freedom is to look after children with disabilities. The children with disabilities in my community are not safe and they can not go to school.” Elethu

“I want to support people who are suffering and protect them because we are living in a bad and dangerous country.” Alakhe

“Things we need in life as young people must be provided by the government. Things like pads for girls, school shoes or uniforms for those who cannot afford them, better education with all of the tools that are needed to do the work in school.” Nolelwa

“Young people are not given the opportunity to lead the world in a modern way and as a young person I want to see the world being led by young people.” Yonelwa

*names have been changed for privacy purposes



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