Thoughts on the young South African


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We’re not like them, we’re often told.

We have no sense of purpose. or urgency. or direction.

We’re self-obsessed hedonists who love the sound of our own voices; love the sound of our keyboards clickety-clicking away on our blogs and social networks as though someone actually cares…

We have no identity, they say. Just going wherever the wind blows us tipsily staggering from one trend to the next

This is who we are.

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We’re dynamic and spontaneous.
We’re creative beyond all that we’ve ever known.

This is our identity.

And though they slander us in opinion columns and talk shows about our distasteful sagging trousers and the outrageous shades of purple and blue in our hair…we claim our rightful place in this country.

With every riduculous shade of eyeshadow we re-paint the image of South African culture…a new culture of tolerance, inclusiveness and boldness. We half-shave the negative imprints of our bitter past,dubstep over the hurdles placed before us letting the bass numb the pain we’re supposed to be feeling instead of moping about like they insist we should.

We continue the fight against discrimination. But we use our own means. In this mish-mash of our identity we string together our differences to quilt our similarities into a source of warmth for future generations.

And so when they try to politicise us and pull us here and there, trying to stand for this political ideology or that, perhaps we don’t make it to the polls not because of disinterest but because our own ideologies have no place to manifest in their manifestos.

There’s hope. In this HIV/AIDS-ravaged country notorious for its high unemployment, violent crimes and vast inequalities…there’s hope. I know it.

Tomorrow will be okay. I mean look at us. How could it not?

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These statement necklaces aren’t subtle. Neither are these high heels and spiky hairdoes. It takes some serious spunk and sass to pull this off! These wacky outfits require some pretty badass level of confidence.

And so it excites me! Under these clothes, behind the provocative music and art are some defiant and strong voices. It’s not just creativity, it’s the guts to dare to put it out there.

So should there come a time when this country will look to the young people to boldly challenge the hot-shots, and burly bureaucrats …you can count on this lot. This group. with a voice. an identity. and the courage to show it off.

In case you didn’t know, the guys in the blue overalls (scroll up) and the hats? They took pantsula from the squatter camps and townships to a Skrillex video. The guys after them? The ones getting sookie with Beyonce in “Who Run The World”. They brought pantsula to Beyonce.

I double dare you to say this is a substanceless generation!

And so I say to the fashionistas of Soweto and Tembisa, the skaters and hipsters Cape Town and Rhodes, the pantsulas, skhothanes of Mamelodi, the graffiti artists and dancers of Maboneng and Newtown, the cutesies of Tumblr, the Felebs and Twelebs, the poets of King Williams Town… don’t let them dishearten you on June 16.

Tomorrow will be okay.


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