To My Fellow Jobless graduate, Silence is not Golden.
A friend of mine once said: “Here in South Africa, we go to school, obtain our qualifications, thereafter put it aside and hustle like someone who has never stepped in to any school”.
Well I never fully comprehended what he said until now that I am in such situation. I mean growing up I was told that education is the key to success, but in this time and age; someone changed the locks and forgot to give the youth of my generation the memo.
Being part of the youth in this country has never been easy. In each and every single generation, the Youth of South Africa face extreme challenges, one way or another. The struggles of the youth of 1976 are not entirely different from the youth of the 21st century. In fact the struggle of the youth of 976 is interlinked with the struggle of the 21st century. The Youth of 1976 fought against Bantu Education, whereas the struggle of the Youth of my generation is that of quality free education and jobs after obtaining the relevant qualification.
The difference between the youth of 1976 and that of my generation is, the youth of 1976 recognized their struggle and they fulfilled their mandate which was fighting against the Education system of that time. Now my generation has to some extent recognized their struggle, but they have been silent for a while, perhaps the youth of my generation have reached systematic paralysis.
Being a jobless graduate is unbearable, mostly for those of us without connections. We wake up almost every morning, submitting forms, going up and down, this way and that way, with borrowed money and if you are lucky your guardian will transport you. Submitting forms hoping that someone will someday pick your CV and call you, for a job interview, but how could it be when you not connected? The chances of being called are very slim.
You look at the position you someday wish to sit on, being occupied by someone without the relevant qualification or someone who has over benefited from that post. Or even worse someone who refuses to exit the stage, simply because they participated in the struggle against unfair segregation. It is quite disturbing as we think of all the lonely, cold nights in the library, trying to get a qualification only to be told years later that we lack the relevant experience whereas there are those occupying the post you want without even having the relevant qualification. What then do we do as a generation filled with jobless graduates?
There is an African Proverb which states: “No matter how much of a good dancer you are, there will come a time where you will have to exit the stage”. A true leader knows that there comes a time where he should step down and let those behind him take the lead. Here in South Africa and or even Africa at large, political leaders never adhere to such. To a larger extent, the political leaders who are now “the elderly” still want to take the lead, instead of advising the youth on how to lead. Not knowing that by doing so, they are creating a cycle whereby the elderly will be on the forefront while pushing the youth to the back. In this case youth will never fulfil their mandate but will forever be fulfilling the mandate of the elderly generation. Is this the kind of South Africa we all want?
You decide by casting your vote on the 8th of May.
Article by Tsakisani Machebe