“the Impact of COVID Pandemic on Youth

Family, I have a confession to make- I am no longer as young and youthful as I thought I was. I can’t believe it had to take the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic to realise this. I can’t believe it had to take a survey with the youth of South Africa to realise I don’t qualify to call myself youth anymore. The lingo they used, the energy and the zeal was all a harsh reminder that I am now older than I thought. Family, they called me, ‘Ankel’!

Today, However is not about me. Today is about the youth of this beautiful rainbow nation. Its a commemoration of the Youth of Soweto of 1976. Their spontaneous uprising against the apartheid system is well documented. History always remembers the brave. The youth of 2020 find themselves confronted by a battle that also demands of them to rise up and be brave. The pen is ready to write down their names in future history books. This battle is not about fighting, let alone questioning any Government of the day. Neither does it demand of our youths to die first to be recognised as heroes. It is a battle that just demands and calls for them to join hands with the rest of South Africa and fight this global pandemic that we are currently facing.

‘Dude, this is crazy, man!- Complained 14 year old Vusi. Well, before I could even try and be comfortable with being called ‘Dude’, he started telling me about Covid-19 and what he understands about it. I realised he had some deep insights into how the Covid-19 global pandemic has affected him personally and the youth in general. In fact it would seem that, generally, from the survey we conducted these were the general feelings of the youth:

  • Most of them have a good understanding of what Covid-19 is and what it entails.
  • Would seem that most have had their everyday routines drastically affected.
  • 30% of the youths we spoke to seem to be productively using the time they have during the national lockdowns.
  • 70% of the youths we spoke to miss their friends and hanging out with them.
  • Almost all the youths we spoke to are unimpressed with restricted movement that the Government put in place during the national lockdowns.
  • 60% of youths are unhappy that the Government banned the sell and movement of cigarretes and alcohol during the National Lockdown Level 5 and 4.
  • 85% of South Africa’s youth does not enjoy virtual learning. A number of them believe that it makes learning and comprehension a lot harder. They also complained about the distractions at home, during virtual learning.

I have summarised the survey as much as possible. Here is to hoping the youth of this nation will not turn around and quote Job 13 vs 26 ‘For you write bitter things against me and make me inherit the inequities of my youth’.

When all is said and done, I believe the youth of South Africa have been abiding by the regulations that have been put in place by Government to try and curtail the impact of the Corona Virus. Just like the youth of 1976, our youth of today have generally also risen to the challenge. It might be a different form of challenge but as a collective, our youth are also doing all in their power to fight this pandemic. This will ensure that their visions, aspirations, and dreams are still very much achievable. I am reminded of Psalm 36 vs 3 ‘Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and feed on his faithfulness’

They called me ‘Ankel’, your bundles of joy….they called me ‘Ankel’!

Trevor Mupamhadzi from Solutions is a Business and Life Coach!

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