Youth culture is one of the fastest growing cultures globally. Whether it is music, fashion, language or even business, young people across the world are making their voices heard and their presence felt. There is no doubt that we are indeed the ones we have been waiting for and there is no stopping us now.
The evolution of South African youth culture has been largely influenced by the rest of the world. However, there is no denying that South African youth are trailblazers in their own right. With social media as their main outlet, no data price hikes formed against the talented South African youth will ever prosper.
The influencer culture amongst the youth has shifted paradigms. There is something for everyone and it is just a matter of access. Many young people relate better to influencers than they previously would with an A-list celebrity from Hollywood. Truth be told, the influencer culture has somehow bridged the gap of representation when it comes to some of the things that matter to the youth such as fashion, music, trends and simple creativity.
If you want to see how fast youth culture is growing, simply take a look at the popular Amapiano genre. Not only has it become a youth favourite but it created an entire culture that the youth of South African can relate and identify with. The genre has given young music creatives to be independent artists, who also believe in their craft, an opportunity to grow and express their art. Amapiano has grown to become a noticeable sound all around the world. Many Amapiano youth artists have travelled the country and the world, thanks to their music.
It is more than just music for the South African youth. It is also about the language which is derived from the lyrics of the songs made, which also come from the same slang the youth use in their very own township. Amapiano is a classic example of how innovative and dynamic South African youth are. Even in the face of adversity and so much cultural conflict, the Mzansi youth stays hyped up and taking action!
It is easy to think that the evolution of South African youth culture is only about the arts and entertainment. However, this is not the true reflection of what is happening on the ground. The youth are taking up space in the entrepreneurial and academic world as well. Small businesses are taking up space while more and more young people are graduating and making significant contributions to the world of academia.
For the longest time, society held on to the narrative that the youth are lazy and entitled. Perhaps it is true in some parts of the country but for the most part, it is inspiration and innovation galore. The youth of South Africa are leading in creating their own narrative. With all of this capacity and talent, very soon the aim will be to change the ghetto, not leave the ghetto.
Written by Selokela Molamodi, Activator and conversationalist, Activate Change Drivers