#Article (Archive)

The Dependency Syndrome is Making Many Youths Lazy

Jul 10, 2008, 8:36 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Janneh

The problems facing young people in this country are numerous. But generally unemployment,

like in many other African countries, is number one. It's even more problematic that one cannot even find an exact figure to quantify the number of unemployed youths. One can say it's our culture for one person to feed up to twenty people. However, it is likewise unfair for one person to feed twenty people when they are all able and healthy. This dependency syndrome should be discouraged while a culture of independent and self-reliance is imparted to our young people. I am not saying people should not support each other but rather this support must be based on real grounds.The issue at hand is serious and is in no small measure making many of our future generation inactive. Can you imagine youths sitting from morning till night chatting and drinking attaya? This is unacceptable! I was very pleased a few days ago when I heard the president emphasising on TV the need for everyone to feed him or her self. This is the fact. The breadwinners and supporters of these youths should encourage and show them the ways and means to earn a living on their own, rather than being dependent on others. We all know that if someone is very young he or she needs the support and care of his or her parents and relatives.But this should not be continued for the rest of ones life. Even as Africans we believe in caring and sharing but this should not be taken for granted. As more students are graduating from university and other learning institutions, as well as those not fortunate to go to school, there is a need to pay more attention to skills acquisition. The solution to this redundancy in youths, I firmly believed is the acquisition of skills to provide them with the groundwork for economic emancipation. As a country we need our own masons, welders, carpenters, plumbers, electricians etc who will participate in nation building. When we achieved these we will not need foreigners for our country's skilled labour. It's undisputed that the country depends on the foreigners for skilled labour also a good number of workshops belong to them. Yet still the competition from their Gambian counterparts is not much. As others prefer depending on others, for some youths migrating to Europe is what they like. If ask of these attitudes some may not hesitate to say they would choose to leave this country to wash toilets but the why not in The Gambia? It's clear to note that the one who controls your stomach will always serve as your superior. Why not feed yourself to become the master of your own stomach?

It is important for youths to make the best use of the opportunities provided to them by the government to develop their own potential. One such institution that is transforming the lives of Gambian youths through skills acquisition is the National Youths Service Scheme.