Life as a Young Adult in South Africa
Mfuneko “Miyagi” Mtshofeni
I’ve seen that you are on your own and you have to watch whatever steps you take. You only live once, but now whatever you do, there is always someone who is watching and waiting for you to fall; but I believe life is a trial.
As a young adult, there are lots of challenges we get at home, especially as a man. We are raised to be leaders and the herders of the family, to support and look after our families. Now, if we are not working, we are always shouted at and disrespected, told we are useless; as men we have to “man up” and feed the family. But they know that we don’t have a choice; we didn’t choose to be unemployed and we want to support our families, but we don’t know where to go.
I remember one day my family shouted at me as if it is my responsibility to feed them. They told me how pathetic and useless I am, so I told them I’m not their dad or mom. Such things happen a lot, and other people have run away from their homes because of being disrespected.
Life is a mess when you are unemployed or earning nothing. Our families depend on us and sometimes I feel like I could just go and work anywhere. But I can’t because I still have a dream. I feel like if I work at a place where they say I’ll be for 10 years, I’ll be abandoning my dream. But yes, I do want to earn; that means if I can find a job that pays me well, I can try to do both.
As a young adult, there are great things in my life, of course, and there is a blessing in my life. That blessing is my mom. She’s the best mom I could ever have. She struggled a lot to raise us. That’s why it is my dream to change her life.