There are a few people that I look up to in life, few people who helped me shape my life. These are extraordinary people that do not seem human at times, until they do something human. Some I know personally and some I do not. Either way, we call them mentors or role models and look up to them.
As a role model, you have an opportunity many may never have in our eyes. You have a chance to guide the youth into something they love to do, something that you are probably doing yourself. To show them the many options this world has to offer. But at times, you focus so much on unproductive activities, you forget who and what you are and are there to do, to guide and direct the youth to be the best version of themselves.
Your words can build or demolish. The language you use in your profession or in this case as an influencer can have a huge impact on a child’s life. One word may be all it takes to change the life of a child or a whole generation for that matter. So, please be cautious of the words you use in and out of your profession. Especially on social media platforms, we are watching and following your every move. Your brain is far more developed (I hope) than ours, any message you put out, we will scrutinise and interpret it in our own language and understanding. Be brave, and use words to enhance growth in all the youths, we will mimic your words and action without you knowing, that is why you are a role model.
Being a youth in this generation comes with enormous pressures, which sometimes force us into making erroneous decisions. We are forced to choose wrong or unfavourable career options due to social and family pressure. Cut-throat market and job competition sucks our minds and oppresses us into deviating from our paths/passions. If you think about this deeply, you will realise that we are enslaved by our own thoughts, and often try to imitate you. You know the saying, “You become the sum total of the five people around you.” You are that fifth person, we listen to you on social media, we watch you on television and read about you in the papers and the internet. You are one click away on our phones.
We follow you and chose you as our role model, because you beat the system, you managed to navigate the game of life and came out on top. All the pressure in the world would not break or even make you sweat. You made the best decisions and are now reaping the fruits of your labour. We just want that, a guarantee that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. But sadly you reminded us that you walk alone in that tunnel.
* Olavi Popyeinawa has a Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia (Unam). He will
weekly contribute this column on youth
matters. Instagram: niceguy_olavi Facebook: Olavi Longfellow Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa