Today’s Youths – A Case of All Bark but No Bite
Brian Rungano Temba
Here is what I have observed over the years with the millennials of today – not all but some: especially those raised from a point of privilege – they are all bark but no bite.
Instead of curating ideas and thought-provoking ideas, the demography is busy spewing words without substance much to the chagrin of the older generation.
The region, specifically Zimbabwe is facing an epidemic of eloquently speaking youths without the slightest idea of what they are saying.
If it were in 1956, the same age group would have been on apprenticeship programs or ideology school to either equip them with skills or learn how to curate ideas.
This would help in exposing themselves to existing markets and open opportunities for their entrepreneurial exploits.
A recent symposium at the University of Zimbabwe recently got me thinking.
This was a Vison 2030 Movement symposium which was addressed by Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa who was the keynote speaker.
He was sharing the opportunities that await youngsters in the real world, local and abroad as someone who is well travelled and astute businessman.
He delved into the opportunities that can be derived from National Development Strategy 1 and how the young can drive Vision 2030 forward.
Despite his lengthy presentation which was pregnant with meaning and life skills – the Ambassador was surprised with the calibre of the youths he had spent his precious time speaking to.
The emptiness of questions thrown at him by youths who had the privilege to learn at one of the biggest universities in the country was mind–boggling.
And to think that this is the larger part of people who spent much of their time on microblogging sites like Twitter eloquently spewing ‘nothing’ is disappointing.
One would, after a lengthy lecturer like that one – expect some level of depth and thought-provoking questions from the audience – but alas it was once again a case of All froth, no beer – and – All sizzle, no steak.
It’s so sad that most of these youths are coming from an opposition background and are fed with so much youthful exuberance that they tend to forget the real purpose of their lives.
They have been taught to cast a blind eye to everything the government of the day does to make their lives better.
These days everyone wants to go get a degree, master’s and doctorate to upturn their chances of being recruited in the formal industry for work.
Meanwhile, those who come from a point where there is never a privilege are making it to the top by risking it all.
The ones who never had a chance of formal education – the ones who resorted to buying and selling to make ends meet.
One would blame the households the privileged youths are coming from, the kind where getting rich is the ultimate goal. Mothers fantasize about their children being an extension of their depleting lifespans, marrying wealthier spouses than their fathers with better social statu
Or maybe just pin it on poverty and the need to live like the ones who oppressed the Black people with Apartheid laws back then.
However, the fight to become like the oppressor and dominate the white-collar industry plus indulge in the pleasantries reserved for the White Rhodesians has outlived its purpose in modern-day Zimbabwe.
It is this privileged demographic of the early 2000s that constitutes the Opposition in Zimbabwe. A people whose parents told them they will be great people and become doctors, nurses and teachers.
They made them fantasize about having a company car and all.
This fictitious world that they were fed to believe shattered when they became young adults, faced with real-world bills, saturation in their fields of expertise and the crippling of the economy hard-done by sanctions.
Some of these characters sought greener pastures in the Diaspora where they kicked off their careers in the blue-collar industry.
To gain citizenship abroad some of them filed for asylums as victims of political violence and persecution.
The ones who stayed in Zimbabwe, are parents now.
This has seen many youths missing the chance to partake in the economic upliftment of their country, but the ones who stayed ventured into different sectors – among them mining.