YOUTH DAY 2014: Active participant or bystander?

. June 22, 2014

by Robin Julies

Question: What were you as a young South African citizen doing on Youth Day? Was it an opportunity to sleep in? Did you have a fun day planned with friends? Or was it simply a day to run errands that you don’t often get around to?  We all have sort of an idea of what youth day is about right? We have seen a documentary or two on how it came about and now we all enjoy an off-day.

I am a 24 year old Psychology Honours graduate, who is as busy as anyone. I like watching series, relaxing with family and friends and doing absolutely nothing as much as the next person and I certainly have had my fair share of hearing about how irresponsible and reckless our generation is. Therefore far be it from me to preach and hypocritically state how “bad” the youth out there is. I am sincerely in awe of the skillset, creativity and pure talent we as South African youth possess. We are amazing human beings and we need to start owning that today! We need to start inspiring each other, we have a responsibility towards ourselves as well as our nation and beyond to become the best version of ourselves as we are fully able to. WE CAN!


Robin Pic1


There are vast challenges. Yes, we are a developing nation, but I refuse to use that as an excuse for why we seemingly cannot prosper. It is not about turning a blind eye and being unrealistic about poverty, education limitations, etc but it is asking ourselves “How can I work with what I have and improve my own situation”.

Youth day has become a day where government officials make speeches, followed by some small celebrations and then we all move on with our lives. It is time for us to start investing in ourselves by learning skills wherever and whenever we can and stop expecting “freebies” and to start giving of ourselves, not money, not food parcels, but of ourselves: our time, our skills, our creativity our passions as I believe it is only in such a way that we can nurture the growth of our country.

Too few of us are interested in the prospect of hard work and sharing our passions. Why is this the case when we are able to do so much more if we only apply ourselves as we are all magnificently gifted in some way, if we only we would take the time to find out what those gifts are and how to one them.


Robin Pic2


So next year on youth day, I hope we find ourselves reflecting on all the positive things we have done and how we have grown as people, and in doing so, developed our nation to the best of our abilities as we are the nation.

I believe in our abilities, our talents our passions, I believe in us and I believe we can be a great nation.

Category: Archived ECHO 1, Uncategorized

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