South Africa

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    South Africa: Voices of lost generation, post apartheid by  Xubera Group Respice Prospice - Voices of 'lost generation' post apartheid- are they up to the challenge tolead?  In January 1985 the late President of the  African National Congress (ANC), Mr Oliver Tambo, declared “that the „youth‟ had earned themselves the honour of being called th e Young Lions’  ”.Subsequently came the slogan „roar young lions, roar‟. Fifteen years post apartheid the young lion‟s roar is still entangled in the South African political metamorphosis. Although the term young lions inthe post apartheid era is being applied interchangeable with „King Pins‟, „King Makers‟, or „Siyabangena‟. Nevertheless the „young lions‟ still roar.  What constitutes the appropriateness of roaring remains a bone of contention. In an article in theTimes magazine an article starts wit h an interview with a youth activist by name of Che Guevara‛stating at 22 he is a hardened veteran of the struggle against apartheid. He has killed „enemies of thepeople‟ and is prepared to kill again......If he caught a family paying rent to municipal a uthorities in defiance of the rent boycott, he would serve them with an eviction notice. „If they refused to go,‟ hesays, „we‟d speak to them in the language of the struggle. We‟d kill them and burn their house down.‛ (Hawthorne P. and Macleod S. Lost Generation . (1991, February 18) Time Magazine .)In the Weekly Mail  , Murphy Morobe, the then United Democratic Front  acting Publicist Secretary, was quoted as having said „For many of the youth, the struggle has meant simply to shoot your way to Pretoria....We acknowledge that the degree of the political education has not been commensuratewith the degree and extent of political mobilisation that we have been able to generate. And thatbrings to the forefront an important and serious contradiction. You draw into the movement battalionsof Young Lions and there are slogans after slogans, hearts in the right place, determined to become part of the struggle, but often they don‟t understand the basic political positions of the movement.‟  Weekly Mail  , January 26, 1990. The concerns around Murphy Morobe‟s interview were raised at the Second Joint Enrichment Project  (JEP) Conference   by Mamphele Ramphele where she warned that ‚the „youth‟ could develop into a force which, because of its anarchic, sporadic, and unorganised ways could sabotage the process of  building a new society‟. (Ramphele M (1992) ‘Social disintegration in the black community’  , in DEveratt and E Sisulu (eds), Black Youth in Crisis: Facing the future , Johannesburg: Ravan) Archbishop Desmond Tutu factored a paradigm shift in his portrayal of the young lions when delivering the Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture when he said‚ “We had a noble cause and almost everyone involved was inspired by high and noble ideas. When you told even young people that theymight be tear- gassed....and even killed, there was a spirit almost of bravado as they said, „So, what?‟„Don‟t care what happens to me as long as it advances our cause.‟ They spoke of their blood watering the tree of our freedom. It was breathtaking stuff, and yes they really meant it, that the cause was thebe all and end all and they were ready to sacrifice anything, even pay the supreme sacrifice for this noble cause.‛ (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Real Leadership, Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust Tenth  Anniversary. Memorial Lecture, 23 August 2006).Indeed the young lions were roaring! According to the Archbishop there was a comprehension for thecause. The historical co-existence of comprehension and ignorance within the youth fraternity hasnever been probed. Post-apartheid the socio-economic and political conditions changed. Thechanges also transcended into conduct of political party members. Material accumulation and personal upward mobility challenged the historical party‟s ideology and principle. South A frica becamean open democratic society. Her position as a point of entry for trade in Africa and her resources  made South Africa a gem in the global trade. The ruling political party (including its young lions)became the primary target in the war of global trade.There is a perception that the youth of the 1980s have abandoned their role as mentors for the 1990sleadership. Hence there is evidence of a generation gap in our social institutions but primarily in thepolitical space. Moreover the silence from the youth of the 1980s raises a lot of question. XuberaGroup decided to host the seminar where we would ponder and analyse the reasons for such state of  affairs in our political landscape. The logic dictates that the youth of the 1980‟s are suppose to be thenext generation to take reigns in the hierarchy of leadership for it is for this reason that we must probetheir readiness. Knowing your ability to analyse issues on social discourse we would be humbled tobe graced by your attendance and participation in our next seminar. The seminar is to focus on the following points:    Occupying leadership position in youth structures as a way out of poverty to opulence  Youth structures becoming factionalist agencies  Decline of intellectual debate or critical engagement within youth politics  An unclear/schizophrenic ideological articulation  Metamorphosis of youth structures into a nest for the comprador bourgeoisie  Lack of futuristic planning or perspective for our country  Lack of mentorship from the mother structureDate: 08 May 2010  – SaturdayVenue : Royal Palm Hotel, Gateway, Umhlanga, DBNTime : 15:00 for 15:30 until 19:30RSVP/for information:  Dress Code: Strictly Smart Casual
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