A GUIDE TO ADOLESCENCE

CityPress - - Voices - ESNATH MUZENDA voices@city­press.co.za

Young peo­ple con­sti­tute a large and rapidly grow­ing por­tion of Africa’s pop­u­la­tion.

Youth Power, orig­i­nally pub­lished in 1990 and re­cently reprinted, is a pow­er­ful book that holds par­tic­u­lar rel­e­vance for to­day’s youth, who face myr­iad chal­lenges.

Agrippa Good­man Khathide of­fers prac­ti­cal prin­ci­ples, backed up by bib­li­cal ex­am­ples, to help the youth to un­der­stand and use the di­vine weapons at their dis­posal to live a vic­to­ri­ous Chris­tian life while cop­ing with sec­u­lar so­ci­ety’s de­mands.

He notes that, aside from all the usual moral chal­lenges faced by young peo­ple, such as sub­stance abuse and teenage preg­nancy, “mod­erni­sa­tion and Western in­flu­ences have helped to erode tra­di­tional African val­ues” that can as­sist them in deal­ing with their prob­lems.

In defin­ing adolescence, Khathide quotes from an ex­pert source: “It’s the most con­fus­ing, chal­leng­ing, frus­trat­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing phase of hu­man de­vel­op­ment.”

He gives a holis­tic fo­cus on adolescence, de­tail­ing the phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­men­tal stages in­volved.

In African so­ci­eties, adolescence of­ten en­tails young peo­ple hav­ing to un­dergo cer­tain rites of pas­sage to shape their adult­hood.

Yet to­day’s world has be­come in­creas­ingly com­plex, hi-tech and mul­ti­cul­tural, plac­ing new de­mands on the youth in terms of ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and the so­cial and emo­tional skills re­quired to nav­i­gate this highly com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

Khathide af­firms that it is crit­i­cal for par­ents, the church and the com­mu­nity to pro­vide a sup­port sys­tem based on care and un­der­stand­ing.

The im­por­tance of youths’ in­volve­ment in the church is em­pha­sised and placed in an African con­text.

In ad­di­tion, Khathide dis­cusses sub­jects such as choos­ing a life part­ner, sex, abor­tion, HIV and Aids, and the role of the church in deal­ing with such is­sues.

This book will hold your at­ten­tion from the first to the last page be­cause, in ac­knowl­edg­ing that a coun­try’s fu­ture lies in the hands of its young peo­ple, the writer goes all out to equip read­ers with clear guide­lines on how to be ef­fec­tive lead­ers in so­ci­ety.

Youth Power

by Agrippa Good­man Khathide Self-pub­lished through Sci-Tech Maths Ser­vices 117 pages R130

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