Young people have been socialised to not participate in political issues due to toxic and violent nature of the engagements. This was said during CITE’s daily Twitter space, This morning on Asakhe, on the importance of youth participation in electoral processes.
“This issue of voter apathy and the young generation comes from socialization, we have been socialized in such a way that every time we look at the political sphere where we are, we never really get to achieve the change that we desire or any form of incorporation,” said Mary Nazonde.
“Even if we are walking in the streets, the elders tell us that we are young, so the encryption of that message, it doesn’t really matter even if young people don’t go to vote there will be an election, we move on with our life, young people have adapted to that kind of messaging of saying it doesn’t really matter whether we participate or we dont.”
She added that priority should be given to messaging of information encouraging youths to register to vote.
“Firstly, you are dealing with the narrative that I was told when I was two years old, those are the stereotypes that you are trying to break. It’s going back to the roots, Emakhandeni, Ekhumalo, and where ever and have youth-centered messages being delivered by the youth themselves. As CSOs mobilize particular youths and have champions on these political issues who will go out for example for me it will be at a University where I learn and have conversations and try to break down stereotypes (sic),” said Nazonde.
Another participant, Sharon said there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around who can take part in development issues and why voting has never worked in so many generations.
“If a person in your life who plays a role, for example, my mother says this thing has never worked before, it’s definite that it is going to sink in and for someone to generally show appetite and say register to vote it will mean nothing to me. We should go to where these people are found, let us go to the clubs, I think to take those messages to Vista, have promotions in these clubs because 2ks know where there is cheap alcohol in town (sic),” said Sharon.
She said it’s very important to have incentives for young people and have influencers being the drivers of the messages.
“The people that have influence are slay queens that the first years look up to when they are going to University and those people have an influence on them, if those particular people are able to drive the message of the register to vote .”
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology