UNEMPLOYED GRADUATES — fucken wake up because noone owes you anything!

What are you doing as a young person to add value in your community? Will this education ever move the communities we come from forward?
Facebook: Langa Zulu | Twitter: @langazulu_

Uncreative unemployed graduates in South Africa marched on Tuesday morning to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to demand jobs, imisebenzi, ispani. They also said that they want government to come up with solutions to tackle the rising unemployment rate. Say what? 😭

StatsSA revealed last month that unemployment is now (by narrow definition) at 27.5%. With youth unemployment at a record high of 52.8% — other studies cite even a higher number(60% or so). You now can see why crime rates keep going up(but hey, we not there).

There’s obviously a big challenge worldwide for absorbing young people into the labor market every year; keeping up with ever rising population numbers; an economic downturn; companies downsizing; The Fourth Industrial Revolution; and then also The Augmented Age, I don’t expect a turnaround for this situation(at least not in the short term anyway).

What I find interesting however, is the correlation that more people often undervalue the relationship between the ridiculously high unemployment rate, and a depressingly high rate of startups that fail in their first five years (70 to 80 fucken percent).

How can we miss this great opportunity, to tap into this raw material; a goldmine and plant; deploy and channel graduates to this path. With a purpose to structure, stabilize and scale up startups to create employment opportunities?

Why is there obsession for big corporates amongst graduates (together with their parents- we shall discuss their role some other time)? When they infact know very well that they are not growing? Big giants are kept busy by competitors and maintaining the status quo, which means that chances of you as a young futuristic person (hopefully) growing and innovating in that environment are very close to zero.

Why do we send young people to institutions of higher learning? Does anyone care to ask that question?

With such big challenges in the continent of Africa comes the greatest of opportunities. Of course not without difficulties (nothing is easy anyways, you just need to pick your path and deal with whatever comes your way). For example, ‘If the world has always been connected as it is today, I doubt the name ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ would have any buzz around it(I doubt I would even know that last name). But because a gap had to be addressed, this young lion is today a multi-billionaire’. The point is, ‘we as young people in South Africa need to be appreciative of the fact that we find ourselves in an underdeveloped / developing region, in a world with an abundance of opportunities that we must exploit( of course this would mean a 360° turn for some if not most) .

Maybe our graduates need a prayer? 😂

We need to change our mindset as a matter of urgency. Our attitude fueled by what mainstream media feeds us about our own surroundings is toxic. I was reading an article just before jumping into this on Business Tech, where some ‘economist’(obviously White), says he advises that people take their money out of South Africa because the economy is worsening — my question is, ‘how will it improve if we must take out money? Let’s wait for aliens to drop off via some SpaceX rocket to fix the economy then we can all return our monies —smart move, dummy!’

Afrika is gold. Chaos is gold. ‘Underdeveloped’ means gaps that you and I ought to fill. Gaps mean economic opportunities that must be harnessed and harvested, by you and I not necessarily ‘investors’ as you have been made to believe.

The obsession for cushy jobs in air-conditioned offices needs to stop, if we are to move this country forward. There is massive amounts of untapped resources outside the mainstream economy.

Some ‘tweep’ once cried on twitter about how sad they were to see graduates selling fruits and sweets in the streets . We seem to have some expectations and picture of where graduates should end up, and it is nowhere near the streets — this notion must be teared apart and destroyed because it is misleading.

If the education we get from these institutions cannot take us back to our communities to restructure, revamp systems and rebuild organizations and small businesses, than I suggest we scrap this shit out for we are better off than seeing young, supposedly bright minds at crossroads with #HireAGraduate boards begging for jobs when they should at the least be carrying a prototype of an innovation that solves say a water crisis in a particular area like Mtuba and begging for funding / capital — Huge difference between the two.

The time for crying and moaning should at some point be declared over —in South Africa: do we see Somalians, Nigerians, Muslims etc crying about their past injustices? If they do, they cry while digging for gold and look at where these groups are today economically speaking whilst we do useless marches for jobs we are not even prepared for because for some odd reason we don’t want to get out there, put ourselves in a position where we will challenge ourselves, harness opportunities ourselves, create new industries, an economy the same way Nigerians or Somalians did.

Check yourself with this set of questions: how are you adding value to small businesses in your area? Do you ever get out of Facebook and get your hands dirty by working with NGOs in your community? What should be done to solve unemployment in South Africa and have you taken any steps to address this problem on a smaller scale?

We are spoilt, dependent and uninspired and I don’t know who to blame between apartheid government, ANC. government, JZ, WMC, parents, education system or better, us but one thing is certain — The more we continue on this path we will find ourselves in a foreign world at some point like educated Zimbabweans in South Africa, as gardeners and waitresses looking back at the opportunities we missed because we were too busy with dancing to the sounds of nothing.

I close with this line from the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2018:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is interacting with other socio-economic and demographic factors to create a perfect storm of business model change in all industries, resulting in major disruptions to labour markets. New categories of jobs will emerge, partly or wholly displacing others. The skill sets required in both old and new occupations will change in most industries and transform how and where people work. It will affect female and male workers differently and transform the dynamics of the industry gender gap.

I wonder, How will our future graduates cope?

Langelihle Zulu is a digital media head at AlgoX — A division of Algorhythmlab.com he also hosts his radio show at #icoraFM every Monday to Friday, 6–9pm. Connect with him for your digital media needs via Langa@algorhythmlab.com