RAISED ONLINE: The only book they want to read is Facebook. They are constantly in touch with peers on Whatsapp and post images of what they are up to on Facebook. Ian Ortega writes about today’s generation of dumb people with smart phones.
Uganda happens to have one of the youngest populations in the world, with 78 per cent of its population being under 30 years of age. But that’s not all to it, this new generation is far different, it has certain things that truly define it. It’s the generation of social media, to put it simply, the WTF generation (Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook). So here are those typical things you need to know about the generation of Ugandans under 30.
They hate hard work but love a good life
This is the generation that grew up watching cartoons. As comedian Daniel Omara puts it; “Cartoons never had jobs but always had cool stuff! Now I get why our generation is lazy; we watched too many cartoons.” But above all, it’s the first generation that has witnessed accidental millionaires and billionaires. It has witnessed the Bad Blacks, it has witnessed the Kazindas, so when you talk to them about the hard way out, they don’t take you serious, because they are certain there is a faster way out.
They are the biggest cowards
They can sustain a war on Facebook but they can’t ever think of joining the army, not even stand the sound of a gunshot. Years back, when Joseph Kony abducted the Aboke girls and was moving towards Teso, the Arrow Boys group was formed. Fast forward, when the Boko Haram abducted the Nigerian girls, the generation had the audacity to rush to Facebook and Twitter with banners proclaiming #BringBackOurGirls. It’s the only generation that can face you on Facebook but can’t face you in real life. They can tweet, they can blog, but they can’t dare to face the cause of their problems.
They want to have it all
The new Ugandan generation prides in being the master of multi-tasking. It is the only generation that can be in New York at lunch-time, at the beach in Entebbe a few minutes later, but when they are actually in Kikoni eating kikomando, but thanks to Google Maps, they keep updating their location. It’s the only generation that has job titles which took people years to earn. Their Facebook profiles read, “CEO at this and that” and guess what, most of them work at “Malaika Clothing and Self-employed.” The new generation believes the world is their oyster. The engineering graduates are working as comedians (Salvado and Alex Muhangi am I lying?). When it comes to picking a career, this new generation freaks want it all.
They can Facebook but can’t open their books
When Maya Angelou passed away, a girl from Mubs without any shame posted; “Oh Maya, we shall miss you, how I loved your music when you sang with Blu3.” How despicable? This is the only generation that will never admit ignorance over any issue. They are the know-it alls, ask them for the source of their info and they will refer you to the E! Channel. To them, holding a novel is something to show off, they will hold the books in their hands but they will never go past the first line. And guess what? They know the dress Kim Kardashian wore to the wedding but they have no idea of what was contained in the Budget reading.
They speak and act white, even though they look black
It’s the only generation that hates its African names and the local languages. She would rather tell the conductor “Ku rubbish” than mention “Ku-kasasiro” in Kamwokya. They have the accents; they speak in accents that would make English men beg for their pardon. And above all, they speak and write in short-code. They are the LOLs, the LMAO, the SMH and the IDK. For starters, they laugh out loud (LOL), they cause me to Shake My head (SMH) and they speak in tongues that I don’t know (IDK).
They don’t have much of their own achievements to speak of
It’s the only generation that actually believes success is sexually transmitted by hooking up with successful men. They also believe success is wirelessly transferred, by being friends to those who’ve made it. Finally, they will spend years and years speaking of what the uncle of their great-grandfather did. Most of their dads were ministers years ago but they still make it a point to choke this fact down our throats. But like Pallaso says, the best is to ask them; “gwe wekoledewo kaki (what have you achieved)?”
If they go missing, it’s difficult to find them
They have grown up in an era where the adage is, “there are no beautiful girls, only lazy ones.” Even the not so good looking girls will look the hottest on Facebook. And the problem of this generation is simple, we have girls who on a scale of 10, feel they are nine when they are actually two while those who are 10 actually feel they are a two. She will look like Beyonce on Facebook yet she’s a female version of Otafiire in real life. And if she went missing, it would be trouble finding her because she doesn’t look anything like her picture. Many of them, even if given a chance would not dare to go for the World Cup in Brazil. What if she finds the real owner of the hair?
This one is a multi-national generation. Most of the girls in the new generation have hair from Brazil, eyebrows from Japan, cleavage from Jamaica, the butt from some Chinese factory, but when it comes to the knees, the ankles and the knuckles, those ones are strictly Ugandan.
They are smarter than their parents
They have no respect for the status-quo. They have grown up in an era where Google provides all the answers. They are the only generation that knows how to use something that their parents don’t. Previously an apple meant a fruit, but to this generation, an Apple is a computer. When you missed a friend in the past you actually went and paid them a visit. Not anymore for this generation, if you miss someone, you Whatsapp or you poke them, and if they don’t respond, you block them. Even though they are smarter than their parents, they are the only generation that consume without producing. It is the generation of smarter phones but dumber users. And if there is one moment that Albert Einstein feared, it is that of this generation, when technology surpasses human interaction. They inbox their American friends, but they have not a slight idea of their grandmother’s second name.
Everyone is a photographer
Forget the village photographer who went around squatting, kneeling and lying on the ground while looking for the perfect pose, everyone in this generation has been groomed as a photographer. And their photos are instant, unlike those of the village photographer that took months, and in case you wanted a copy, you had to keep a negative.
This generation takes selfies (for the old generation, this means a photo of oneself taken by oneself), they take groupies (when a selfie contains more than one), and of late, they also do nudes (where they strip bare).
And guess what, they all look like stars, thanks to the effects from Instagram.
They all believe they have haters
They are the one generation that thinks everyone is against them, they think everyone “hates on them”. If only they did stop and asked what is it about them to be hated? Do they hate their leggings or the number of their Facebook Likes?
And above all, they have degrees but they don’t have jobs. They want a life but they can’t even make a living on their own. They are the new Ugandan generation, they curse, they swear, they shout, but they can’t throw a punch.
To rephrase the words of Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club; “The new generation are the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, they have no Great war, no Great depression, their great war is a spiritual war, their great depression is their lives, they’ve been all raised by television to believe that one day they will all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but they won’t and they’re slowly learning that fact. And they’re very very pissed off.”
Disclaimer: The writer wrote this while practicing Robin Van Persie’s World Cup header and thus his mental state was in flying mode.