Many times, when asked about youth and the true meaning it has, brains may go void. Impossibility is that we could not find a common understanding of what it is all about.
I am surprised when I see someone as old as forty-five claiming to be youth! If our forty-five is still youth, what about our twenties! Doesn’t it mean, “youth has no age” as Pablo Picasso once said? However, my concern is not to define youth nor to pin-point their life-long gains, but rather to shed some light on the challenges youth of today face almost all the time.
Youth is such a treasure to our nation. We could imagine how aching it is when we lose the things we hold dear of which youth is the number one. The tragic incident that took place in Hotel Shambo has touched my feelings so much so that I thought I was among those killed. It completely left me traumatized.
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While I was reading the coverings about that unpleasant moment, I came across the headline, “They Killed My Hope“. Once I finished the whole story narrated by Hawa Siyaad, the mother of a 24-year-old final year medical student, it was like watching a horror movie. This very agony has engulfed her first-born baby. Her only light was snuffed out and was butchered on her witness. What so heartbreaking! Young people are ended such unholy ways nowadays.
Likewise, thousands of our young people dreaming of better life abroad often drowned in oceans around Africa. Their flesh and bones have been favorable food to sharks and barracudas. These youth whom we believe in are the candle of tomorrow’s darkness but they simply risk their lives and run away from their homelands in search of the “American Dream”. They are mostly young men and women who lost hope and direction in life.
Little do they realize that their destiny has already been written by Allah and whatsoever they dream to have is under His command. We are shamefully alerted by the crocodile tears we shed for our loved ones. It has just been like this for the last two decades. This is not permissible whilst there is humanity that teaches us to feel for one another.
More emphatically, there are so many other problems that youth of today face from day to day bases that need to be addressed urgently. It will not be unfair if I say youth have lost trust in the older generations but I will say this, the youth of today lack role models and voices to represent them. If it would have been there, say one or two, then they are not with us today. The cream has traveled the furthest of distance and lives in the other corners of the world. Truth be told, youth have rarely seen a perfect role models in our society in today’s generation.
More so, this reminds me of another story. Happiness is to my Kenyan classmate who recounted his success story in writing with me as he is about to publish his first book, “The Power of Thinking Big“. He once told me, “the pens and pads will no longer matter much unless we find decent role models whom we put our trust and surrender for help.”
By the way, this is not an extraordinary example, but the paramount of him per se, is that the part models played in his life has shaped almost his way of thinking. On the contrary, a good number of Somali youth are taking the bitterness of what they call role models, the warlords and the like.
Notwithstanding, we always blame “everyone” for our bafflement and shortcomings in life. Our scapegoat is the government which we accuse for not providing us decent jobs and lazy lifestyle. To me, this is not very true because there has never been a government in the history of mankind that has employed her all populace. That is impracticality! It is only here in Africa that we think our governments as source of income when in fact the matter is totally different.
In conclusion, we need to be little bit more creative and join hands together in order for us to we work for the betterment of ourselves and that of our country.
Let’s embrace our old generation, show them respect and that we can dream big and think beyond the imagination’s reach. Let’s prove that we can accomplish a near miracle goals in life. Let’s all stop the excuses that there will be a “coming hour”. What a “coming hour” youth? We all know in no doubt that life’s choices are limited. Here, there are only two options: to either choose to live in prosperity or poverty. Remember the decision is yours. So take the right one my dear youth and hopefully the light will shine on us on the end of the tunnel and our country will be forever grateful to our generation.
By Abdikadir D. Askar (exclusive to Somalilandpress), 4 January 2010
Abdikadir D. Askar is a youth activist based in Uganda. He writes both in English and Somali. He wrote about political and social matters thus far. He can be reached at email@example.com.