We are young, vibrant and creative, filled with so much potential yet it all goes to waste because as it stands South Africa has the worst youth unemployment rate in the world. We are the 90’s generation, the generation that came after years of Apartheid.

We have first-hand experience of the new South Africa, democracy our parents fought so hard for yet we are not reaping any rewards. Those that came before us worry about our lack of participation in politics but honestly there is no space for us in the field. Our struggles are taken lightly, brushed off and even when we standup to fight against them, we are said to be impulsive and out of control.

We demand change! We cannot be handing over our votes to people that sell us dreams, the challenges we face as young people matter too. Talk has become a little too cheap to buy our votes. Address our issues first, we’ll vote after. President of Tshwane University of Technology shared his insight on the matter, “Its simple young people are reluctant to vote because the services they need are not met so they couldn’t care less about elections. Also young people are more concerned about trends and following them, fashion, alcohol and drugs”. With the challenges being faced by young people and them not being dealt with by authorities, it is no surprises that they would much rather focus on trends or even alcohol and drugs to keep their heads above water.

Not only are we faced with the depression of being unemployed but crime and violence are issues that affect us directly. In no way is poverty an excuse for crime but it only makes sense that the rate of crime in this country is rocket high. If you do not give people what they need, they become desperate, and they will find means to get food on their table even if it means committing crime (desperate times call for desperate measures). A member of Economic Freedom Fighters Thuli Galane and second year student at Boston Media House shared just how disheartened she is about the forth coming election, “state capture has shown us where our country is at, it has exposed politicians and what they do with our money. I can only hope that South Africans can understand that the future now lies in their hands and realize that they cannot keep routing for those that keep deceiving them. Young graduates are ready for the market place but there are gate keepers not willing to let us in, what has the government really done for us besides reciting the great works that Nelson Mandela did in his time’’.

Now more than ever there has been a decline in young people who are willing to vote. Choosing which party to vote for has become a grey area. Four years ago we took to the polls in hopes for “A better life for all’’ little did we know that during those four years we would become familiar with various commissions of inquiry, exposing one scandal after the other while implicating the very last few we had entrusted with our taxes. Speaking to various youth groups from different parts of South Africa has revealed that, the main reason why the youth is so reluctant to vote is because they trust no one. It seems everyone has ‘smaller nyana skeletons in the closet’, with that being said, most would rather keep in doors come the 8th May.

But keeping indoors while this nation needs us only worsens the state we are in. By not voting, history will keep repeating itself, and we’ll be to blame. It is much better to live with the regret of the decisions you have made than the ones imposed on you.