UNIVERSITY of Johannesburg Enactus president Masonwabo Fuma from Komani said the youth of 1976 were a generation which questioned everything, when he spoke at the youth event at Riverside Lodge in Aliwal North last Friday.
“They questioned an education system which did not work for them and was only meant to benefit the minority. It was a curious generation that understood the reality of the society they lived in. We need to adopt that attribute today. We have seen it in movements such as Fees Must Fall. The youth have been questioning a lot in the past two years, raising topics such as decolonisation of the curriculum to make it more African as apposed to westernised.”
The second attribute he advised the youth to grab was remaining firm to the purpose of their dreams. “The 1976 generation like Hector Peterson was willing to put their lives on the line for what they believed in. Let us be fearless about our dreams and not be comfortable with our current status. Let us look at ways to empower ourselves and our communities.”
Fuma used a part of his life story to illustrate how he, as a mediocre youth from the small town of Komani, rose to international stardom by becoming president of the biggest Enactus team in the world, at UJ, at age 23.
He gave of the basics of starting a business in high school, where the youth would identify a problem and come up with a feasible and viable solution to address that problem as a business project. “The extent to which they are able to solve the problem will generate more profit and if they make little, it will reflect an inability to solve that problem.”
In terms of funding he advised them to approach the private sector in their community.
He defined success as the ultimate prize for those who stood true to their ideals while believing in themselves. Young people needed to navigate and reach out for opportunities that were availed to them, he said.
Fuma also had an SA FM interview focusing on the lessons from the youth of 1976 and what the best way to commemorate them was.
Fuma commended Lazola Bottoman for organising the event as he said empowerment platforms in the province were scarce.