The youth day: is it still relevant?


On February 1961, a plebiscite was held in the people of southern Cameroon where they were asked whether they wanted to achieve independence by joining the republic of Nigerian or by joining the republic of Cameroon. The then northern Cameroon choose to join Nigeria which is the present day Gogola state meanwhile the southern Cameroons choose to remain with the La Republic of Cameroon. On 11th February 1966, the youth day was instituted by the then government of President Amadou Ahidjo to celebrate the unification and as a way of strengthening the newly formed Cameroonian nations.

This year, the youth day was as usual marked by march past and a reflection on the problems of youths and how to overcome them. By far the greatest cry of the youths is the lack of jobs and many of them blame the government for their joblessness. However, the government insist a lot is being done to create jobs and youths need to embrace agriculture and other petty trades as a way of getting out of long term unemployment.

The government has cited a lot of measures being taken to curb long term unemployment. The creation of the National Employment fund to create jobs, the 25.000 jobs of youths of all ages, the recruitment into the youths and the enrollment into the police and army forces.  Despite this, the youths still insist a lot still has to be done by the government.

Is this day still relevant or is it a day used by the youth to blame the government for all their problems? Instead of the day being a day to solidify national unity, it is fast becoming a day in which youths go out to eat and drink and forget their problems which has not changed from the way I perceived it when I was in primary and secondary school.

I used to prepare a lot in anticipation of the d day. I usually had my canvass school polished and cleaned and painted with grounded chalk to make them look more new. In addition, my uniform was generally washed and well ironed for the march past. I also used to save some money in a small safe that I would break just before the 11th February. The day itself was a time to march under the burning sun and stroll around with friends. What was your experience of the youth day; please write in the comments below.



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