The Youngsters is a fresh, entertaining series of pocket books that features prominent young South African voices worth listening to. The Youngsters series explores topics of interest to the youth, ranging from hair weaves to discovering who you are and what you should do with your life, as well as issues of race and gender, love and sex in the time of social networks, the music and radio industries, comedy, empowering yourself and more … The series shares the naked reality of being a youngster in South Africa and helps you to make sense of it all.
1. It Feels Wrong to Laugh, But… by Anele Mdoda
I’m not saying your drink is who you are, but knowing your drink is part of knowing yourself. The process of finding the tastes you like, whilst you’re there deciding what you drink – surely you should also be finding out things about yourself. For example, am I studying law because I want to be a lawyer or because I like Ally McBeal/The Practice? Or is being a doctor your calling or do you want to find McDreamy? Also knowing what you should stay away from is just as important. Does tequila on the rocks make you dance on the table? If that’s your thing, then go ahead. If not, it may be best to step away.
2. Take it From Me by Danny K
I’m sure everyone has heard the gossip regarding my relationship with Lee-Ann Liebenberg; I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared for the amount of publicity we would get. During the time we were together, we literally became public property and I was seen as being famous purely for whom I was dating. I blame myself for the media circus our relationship became. My naivety and blind faith that it would all work out had me digging my own grave. I’ve learnt the hard way to be more discreet and measured about my public life.
3. In My Arrogant Opinion by Khaya Dlanga
The fake smile has those ‘Please don’t steal my bag’ and ‘Please don’t talk to me, and don’t mistake my fake smile as an invitation for you to talk to me’ qualities about it.
You know, I can appreciate some fake things, like fake boobs. As fake as they may seem, they look even more real than the real thing. At least they give us an idea of what those identical twins on women’s chests should be like. No, don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate adding any counterfeit objects to one’s chest. Not that I’m opposed to them either. I was just saying.
4. South Africa: A Long Walk to a Free Ride by Nik Rabinowitz
‘Oh great,’ you’re probably thinking, ‘a history lesson. I have bigger things to worry about. Why should I care about ancient history when the present is changing all the time?’
Our generation is all about change: regime changes, party changes, road name changes, province changes, Facebook status update changes. History books get changed according to who is in power, so we don’t know where we’re comingfrom. Newspapers are censored and sanitised, so we don’t know where we stand. Twitter and Facebook are no use because they are full of people who lie and can’t spell. And the future is uncertain, so we don’t know where we’re going. But sometimes, knowing where you came from can help you to figure out where you are going. Or at the very least, help you to win at Trivial Pursuit.
5. Becoming by Shaka Sisulu
We were at a traffic light so she had my full attention. She then asked me very pointed questions about the nature of my relationship with her mother. Stunned, I waded through the inquisition as honestly as I could. When she was satisfied, she simply nodded, looked briefly into the distance and then turned on the radio again. Within moments she was happily chatting about something or the other that had captured her imagination.
Something happened in those few moments. She had held me to account in a way that I allowed very few people to do. Not only that, her questions reminded me of the role I was playing in determining what sort of romantic relationships she herself would be predisposed to pursuing. There remains no doubt in my mind that daughters find their fathers to love, or spend their lives searching for him. Whether I liked it or not, I was directly influencing the quality of her adult life through my actions, even if I felt that certain things had nothing to do with her or were none of her business. You know, parenting begins when each decision we make for ourselves considers the souls in our care for safekeeping. I have said that my daughter has raised me. Partially because of her, Bond had to go.