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LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINMENT

The youth are all right

Three actors of the new wave share their thoughts on our shared social responsibilities and the power to change to world through social media
Thu, Jun 16, 2022

Melissa Massyn, 23

Nesie in Getroud met Rugby on kykNET (DStv channel 144)

Massyn is no newcomer to our screens, and we’ve watched her grow up on the set of Getroud met Rugby. She says it is exciting to be a South African. “The fact that I am moulded as an individual by so many different cultures and rich languages makes me excited about our country. Exploring this country and the beauty of South Africa enriches my life,” she says.

Her best fashion tip has to be from Sex and the City (obviously): “I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet.” Her tip? “Always remember to invest in yourself, whether for your career, your skincare or your fashion!”

When talking about Youth Day, Massyn has a positive outlook: “Youth Day, to me, is a representation of a hopeful future. The good will always win, even if one has sacrifices to make. It’s a commemoration of the greatness that happens when people stand together and believe in one cause: justice.”

Massyn also believes that change happens when one leads by example. “Small acts of kindness from each South African will change South Africa for the better and inspire leaders to lead the nation with honesty and integrity.”

Yolani Abrahams, 29

Presenter and judge on Kookpunt on VIA, DStv channel 147

Abrahams is a young entrepreneur and co-business owner of the eatery Kole & Deeg. She explains her feelings about being South African: “I see South Africa as one of the most beautiful quilts ever sewn together. After all, we are the rainbow nation! With its unique pattern and exotic colours, each block attracts more and more people to this blanket.

"Just as the blanket was sewn together, we stand together and support each other. The support from the locals during and after Covid was incredible – it is one of the many positives that make me proud and excited to be a South African."

Youth Day holds special significance for Yolani. “I get chills when I think of Youth Day. As youths, we don’t realise how important it is for us to lead the next generation into a better future. The decisions we make today impact tomorrow.”

She explains that the youth of today and social media are inextricably linked.

“I have a love-hate relationship with social media. The reason for this is that the many negatives about social media are heartbreaking and may leave some youth with long term effects.” She names the rise of depression and anxiety levels among the youth and cyberbullying.

“The positives are that we can show empathy and kindness towards our followers and the people we follow. Social media is also a brilliant platform to showcase your business and build relationships. Some of us even find our voice and purpose in life through social media.”

“With all that in mind, it’s easy to 'like' and 'unlike' on social media and show your support in the comfort of your home. I want to encourage the youth to volunteer and get actively involved in their communities and offer up some 'scrolling' time to help someone in need. Even if it is giving a friend, who was attacked by a cyber bully a physical hug.”

Yolani says Youth Day also allows us to share important platforms with political, business and social role-players to voice their input. She stresses that “Youth Day celebrates being a young positive individual in South Africa.”

Yolani also puts a fun and budget-wise spin on the best fashion tips she’s ever received: “Before you buy something because of the brand name, quickly check online – you may find the exact same quality item for less.” And remember: “It’s not always who and what you wear but rather how you wear it, wear your style with confidence!”

Carla Mackenzie, 32

Presenter of Musiekpaniek on VIA, DStv channel 147

The vibrant host of Musiekpaniek loves the diversity that surrounds us as South Africans, “if you open your eyes and mind. My partner is Xhosa and learning another language with someone who is in close proximity to you, you immediately connect a new language with pure love.”

To Carla, Youth Day holds some special memories: “A few years ago, I had the pleasure to have a cup of tea with Antoinette Sithole – whose brother died during the Soweto Uprising – and she said, ‘As a young person, make sure you take a stand in a positive way. Protest but in a different way.’ Let’s commemorate but work towards a sustainable legacy for the youth.”

She says the youth are already doing so much to change the world. “[They are] creating spaces that weren’t there before. I love people who share knowledge. About anything, really. I see the youth sharing tips on dealing with stress, where there is a job opportunity, their experience with buying a house... A few years ago, it was information you could only access if you actively sought the help/info. These days the youth share the knowledge they have freely, and I love that!

And for fashion, Carla keeps it simple and classy: “Someone told me you’ll always look good, professional and fashionable in black, and I’ve never looked back ever since!”

There you have it, our youth, it seems, is on a positive path to change and impact their immediate surroundings and the lives of everyone in their beloved country.

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