I grew up in a transitioning country. A country where a black person was moving from being used to not go to certain areas to being in the same room with a white person. By then, an old person was somewhat happy (I am saying somewhat because I do not know how they really felt) because they were able to vote and one of their main struggles was to be in government. For that reasoning the country was happy and the feeling of hope was restored in the hearts of the people, that change is coming slowly but surely. With that bit of happiness, people started knowing what it felt like to be free. I guess that is why there is Freedom Day in our calendar, people were happy that day and for with happiness, comes freedom.
Fast forward to today, I feel like I live in a volatile type of country where my generation does not feel generally free as our forefathers thought we would be by now. The effects of the past are still showing and it can be mostly seen that, where you come from can actually determine how hard you have to work to get to the top, as compared to someone who comes from a different background. The struggle now may not be apartheid as it was in the past, but apartheid was the first step to get us to the economic struggle that most black young kids are facing right now. I am saying black young kids not because our parents are economically free but only because our parents won their struggle of getting everyone to vote and now the baton is on us. The struggle makes young kids to abandon their dreams in order to support their families and it becomes a non-ending cycle because the next kid has to return the favor by also supporting the family before they can actually start doing things for themselves.
We grew up with voting being part of our lives, so for this generation, we do not know what it is like not to vote, however, we do know how it is like to vote but still your voice is not heard when we are constantly being told that your vote is your voice. This, to us does not bring about happiness. This, to us, does not bring about freedom. We are everyday looking for jobs and those with jobs still do not have enough to support their family and the extended family. Extended family I also count because we grew up in a culture of not letting family suffer when you can afford some things. Instead of our voices being heard, we see the same people we voted for not fulfilling the promises they made during their campaigns. However, this does not necessarily mean the previous voting system was better than this, but it actually seeks to outline that we somehow do not have to entirely depend on what government does for us, hence we have to find our own legal ways of making a living. Making a living nowadays means making money and that is where we struggle. In our rural and township schools there is no financial education and it is okay for a kid not to do mathematics while the most marketed careers are Science and Engineering. A kid who seeks to do humanities is considered dumb and does not have a vision in life. We are never taught the importance of compound interest from a very young age and in fact, the chapter of compound interest in a maths subject is the one that nobody likes and it is not of importance because it has low marks anyway.
This cycle of not knowing how to manage and grow our money is what is becoming a problem now, because we end up in huge debts that we cannot pay back and our children already have a debt to pay when they start working. Most dangerous places as portrayed by the media are the same places where there is a high economic disadvantage. People are looking for money everywhere, money will bring some happiness to the people.
Once the people are happy, we can safely say people are free. For with Happiness, comes Freedom