National Youth Day: What does it mean?

Youths during the parade celebrating Cameroon's National Youth Day
Youths during the parade celebrating Cameroon’s National Youth Day

February 11th marked the celebration of the Cameroonian Youth Day.  Growing up, I always wondered what it really meant, apart from the day-off from school, the school parades, and the presidential speech, what does it really mean? What is the purpose of a youth day?

For starters, Cameroon’s National Youth Day is a national holiday, meant to mark the importance of the youth, and youth rights in the country.  On that day, several parades occur throughout the country led by different schools.  It was a priviledge to be chosen to attend these parades.  For a child, it is one of those few events where one can stand proudly, and march for the country (that is, if you were part of the parade).  The true essence of a national youth day, and the reason why it was created, is to empower the youth, and give them a greater sense of their country, and what it meant to be part of that great country.  It is also a way for the government to let the youths or the young-at-heart know that they are valued as the future of the nation, and an essential segment of the population.  Sadly today, the government does not care about inspiring the youth, or protecting the youth; sadly today, few youths are proud of being Cameroonian, many run abroad looking for better tomorrows, when yesterday all dreamt of returning home.

I thought of introducing a song celebrating the youth, ‘ma revolution’ by Didier Awadi dedicated to all revolutionaries, all the youths, all the patriots, and all those who want to affect real good change in Africa.  Most importantly, this song leans on all the great Africans who have inspired the youths and the people of their countries or kingdoms.  Enjoy!

Do you celebrate youth day in your country? And what does it mean to you? How do we influence the youth towards a true awakening of the society?

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