Born free generation

Published: 2021-06-30 20:20:05
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Category: Science

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?It is not for nothing that the born free youth in 2013 has been named the “me generation”. Today’s people growing up are materialistic, self indulged and obsessed with themselves. This essay will explore that 19 years after the first the first democratic elections in South Africa, the young people of today are little different from their counterparts else where in the world. My argument will show that this is somewhat ironic because politically inspired school pupils were the catalysts for one of the most important resistances against the apartheid government.
In 1976 the National Party attempted to modify the education act and insist that Afrikaans be the medium of instruction for Bantu education. On the 16th of June politicised and angry young teenagers poured into the streets of Soweto equipped with suitcases and stones. They confronted heavily armed policemen and the might of the South African military with the determination to express their outrage at yet another political injustice.
Hector Peterson lost his life on this day and his limp body became emblematic of a politicised youth determined to make South Africa a democratic country. When President’s Kennedy, Nixon and Johnson involved the United States of America in a war across the globe, to minimise the influence of communism, young people in America took to the streets and protested vigorously across the land. Indeed, this event characterised popular culture to such an extent that protest music became a genre popular worldwide.
Singers such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary voiced the objections of the “Love Generation”. Music in fact became the medium for political resistance in South Africa as well; Johnny Klegg became the “white Zulu” and his anthropologist wrote resistance songs, which young people in South Africa promoted with much vigour and enthusiasm. Stephanie Powers too became a voice of political decent and her raspy voice with songs like “Last night when we were young” energised disco techs in which young South African’s danced the night away.
However, 19 years after the demise of Apartheid, young South Africans are no longer interested in political and social protest music, in fact the pop genre has never enjoyed such wide spirit support in this country. Justin Bieber’s concert in Cape Town and Gauteng enjoyed unprecedented popularity and support. The columnist for the Sunday times exclaimed on the 14th of may that the hysterical behaviour of so many young girls was reason for great concern in fact anyone attending this concert could not have failed to be struck by one of the great ironies of one of the great “Musical bonanza” in Soweto, a bowl of poverty and deprivation.
In fact, a sensitive appreciation of these ironies can be little other then down right embarrassing. However, if this were limited to one outing only, young people’s self indulgence and narcissism might be forgiven however, Johannesburg Stadium has been the host to Lady Gaga, The Red Hot Chilli Pepper and U2, in each case promoters smile at ticket sales and the amount of money made from each outing.
Furthermore, it would be a little naive to believe that this is a characteristic only displayed by the youth of South Africa. Young people worldwide it would appear are pleasure seeking and selfish and are all too willing to emulate and worship celebrity culture. Charlotte Metcalfe in her article, “Where are all the role models, the real heroines we once revered” satirises adolescent hero worship of figures such as Cheryl Cole

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