AS we celebrate Youth Month, some people say that young people are rebels without a cause and do not have young, inspiring leaders as the 1976 generation had.
I refute this. The demon that faced the '76 generation is different from the one facing young people today. That generation was correct about Aluta Continua . Today' s youth, led by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, is advancing the national democratic revolution (NDR) in order to realise the dreams of the ' 76 generation.
Every revolution has its revolutionaries and the NDR is led by a revolutionary, Malema. The '76 generation was also referred to by some people as unruly hooligans who had no direction. Now the same thing is said about this generation and their leader. Because of Malema's outspokeness, his impatience for change and his wholehearted sacrifice to the NDR, he is vilified, insulted and portrayed as an unthinking leader who is leading the youth nowhere.
And the so-called soft-spoken celebrities who have no desire to champion youth development are given the recognition they do not deserve and are portrayed by the media and society as the real heroes of the youth. But they do not tackle social ills and are silent on socio-economic challenges facing young people.
Some people just don't like Malema because he presses the right buttons. Just look at how halls overflow whenever he addresses the masses.
Young people are vulnerable and exposed to all sorts of societal ills. Their participation in fighting crime, HIV-Aids, the economy, politics, civil society, sports and arts proves that they are rebels with a cause.
Chumile Sali, Tygerberg