It seems the current generation of black youth will be the first to turn its back on the liberation movement and the little gains of its struggle.
This is likely to happen anytime between the forthcoming local government elections in 2011 and 2020.
There is reason to believe that we will see an increasing number of young people who not only abandon participating in revolutionary politics but just turn their back on voting, especially for the African National Congress.
Already, there are rumbles of discontent among the youth that the Independent Electoral Commission has not done enough to get them registered as voters or make them aware of the requirements for them to do their civic duties when it comes to the polls.
The disillusionment of some black youth with politics and ill-informed anger against the ANC should not come as a surprise, especially to parents and former struggle heroes.
After all, in the past 16 years or more, the mental training of black youth has, largely, been entrusted to whites.
It is white teachers and principals who shape the black youth’s self-understanding, historical knowledge and formulation of perception about what is really going on in the country.
Since the dawn of freedom and democracy, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young black children and youth who have been educated outside their families, communities and history.
The are very few schools that promote education from a black historical perspective, if you like.
Last year, the department of education revealed in Parliament that between 2003 and 2008, there had been almost 60% increase in African children who go to former white schools.
No figures were provided of white children who go to what could pass for black schools.
In fact, there are no white children who enrol in black schools like in the townships. Instead, the pattern is for white parents to withdraw their children as soon as the school becomes “too black”, whatever that means.
The sad reality is that there are very few institutions that are black-owned.
Thus we are hard-pressed to find places where young black children are taught self-love and appreciation of their own history, culture, language and heritage or just to excel academically.
Instead, more and more black parents, including former liberation heroes, senior government ministers, corporate top dogs and other officials, are said to be losing confidence in state schools.
They are taking their children to white-owned, private institutions.
A recent study by the South African Institute of Race Relations revealed that the number of black children attending white-owned, private and independent schools increased by more than 50% in the past decade.
As a result, more and more black youths who are a product of these institutions reveal a cynical and hypercritical view of the gains of the struggle, especially the ANC.
They have a distorted perception and understanding of government delivery or the role of Nelson Mandela, for instance, especially the political significance of black majority rule and how this came about.
They do not appreciate the little progress that has been made to improve the lot of African people.
The black youth who have come of age in the last decade or so do not reflect the history, heritage, culture and political legacy of their parents or communities. Their values and mores are not grounded in African culture.
Instead, they mirror an educational experience and the values of institutions that are not particularly interested in projecting a positive knowledge and understanding of the history and heritage of Africa.
The twang accents and American clothes they wear may symbolise global citizenry and an a-political youth that is growing up in a supposedly normal society. But behind the walls of their schools is a whole world that alienates them from their political history and an understanding of the role of the ANC, for instance, and other liberation movements.
Increasingly, black youth are fluent in English but lack an intuitive understanding of indigenous languages, culture and politics. The lack of glorious liberation history, heightened self-knowledge and intuitive understanding of an Afrocentric historical perspective in a global world is what makes them alienated.
They are lost and – deep, deep down — feel empty with lives deprived of meaning and relevance.
There is an urgent need to facilitate a reconnection between the black youth and their history, heritage and culture.
What is needed is not just political propaganda schools but institutions that will give a comprehensive, coherent, balanced and objective view of the evolution of this society from slavery to constitutional non-racism.
Unfortunately private and independent institutions of learning are, largely, owned and run by pseudo-liberal people who are myopic, self-serving and without patriotic zeal. The Model C school authorities desire to keep the status quo.
They are not really interested in education for enlightenment and mental liberation.
But the black youth, especially, deserve better as it is their historical responsibility to improve upon what their ancestors, especially those who founded the ANC, sacrificed and died for.
As future leaders of this society and world, they need a broader sense of history and politics to be able to critically engage with the bewildering global village they will live in.
It is time that black parents stood up to play a pivotal role in the education of their children, especially the content of what they are taught.
It is not enough to just leave everything to teachers of political misguidance.
The black child is being (mis)educated not to believe in the oldest and greatest liberation movement to come out of Africa.