Let me say from the outset – I am in awe of some of the young people in this country. I don’t remember feeling this proud and encouraged in recent times.
This renewed respect in our youth was triggered last Sunday night when I attended the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Finals in music.
I was so moved by the talent of each and every performer who graced the stage at Frank Collymore Hall. It was incredible watching each individual and group raise the bar of excellence in music with every performance and in every genre.
I hadn’t attended NIFCA events for some years but decided last Sunday I would take my mother, who fancies herself a music aficionado, for a evening outing. I can’t even begin to emphasise how happy I was that I did, because three and some hours after, I walked away believing in our young people again.
It is so easy to become jaded by all the negative stories you hear and read about the youth. As a news organisation, we try every day to showcase the youth who are doing positive things. We even have a special Nation Y section which appears in our Tuesday DAILY NATION, dedicated to young people.
As an organisation we felt it was necessary to highlight some of the good things being done by some young people in this country. We also listened to some of the feedback from them as they said they needed to see themselves reflected in a positive way on our pages.
On our sports pages almost daily, we also highlight some of the outstanding athletes who continue to do well in all the different disciplines, and even go on to “rep” our national colours overseas.
Then, on the flip side, you look on our court and news pages on some days and you see the negative side of young people who are involved with some form of criminal activity.
Truth is, it can make you lose hope in the younger generation.
But I am here to tell you, have faith and trust that the moral compass will guide most of them back on the right path.
After witnessing Sunday night’s performance in which young people stepped up boldly and confidently and performed to a soldout audience at the Hall, I am more sure than ever that our country will be in safe hands.
Seeing the abundance of talent, I also realised that many of us do not often give enough credit to our young people and instead, paint them all with the same brush.
We must refrain from this and recognise that some of our young people are doing some amazing things. So instead, try to big them up and not pull them down.
So today, I salute all the performers in Sunday’s NIFCA Music Finals. Take a bow. You all deserve it! (CM)