By Lorraine Metha
Communities in both rural and urban Zimbabwe are concerned about the behaviour of young people popularly called Ama2k. Ama2k are individuals born from the year 2000 and are associated with drugs and substances abuse, sexual escapades and violence.
Charity Gumbo (13), a student at Montrose high school says life is complicated for young people these days and that leads to unacceptable behaviour. She says many young people are living without parental guidance due to migration in search of better jobs.
“Many young people lack parental guidance. I have friends who stay alone while their parents are in South Africa. These guys have no problem with hosting male friends at their house and I feel that they may end indulging in sexual activities,” says Charity.
Charity says some young people who stay alone end up involved in drugs and alcohol abuse because there is no adult to monitor their activities.
“When young people are involved in drugs and alcohol, they also end up indulging in sex and this may lead to early pregnancies. Besides all that young people also engage in violent behaviour after using the drugs,” says Charity.
Charity cites a recent incident when a student at a local high school was stabbed to death by a student from a neighbouring school. The assailant is a 17 year old student and he is currently in police custody awaiting trial.
Charity says although she belongs to the Ama2k age-group, she now lives in fear of her age-mates because of all the horror stories she has witnesses or heard.
“When I leave school to go home, I am gripped by fear of getting caught up in the violence. I have witnessed some violence and it is nasty. I used to feel safe among my peers but not these days,” says Charity.
Another female student from a school in Bulawayo, Trinity (15) says lawlessness among young people is a cause of concern and she wishes that the law enforcement agents should be involved to uproot the problems.
“Teachers and other school authorities have failed to control the wayward behaviour of students. Maybe it is because of the laws against corporal punishment. Some students are so daring that they threaten teachers. As a girl I live in fear knowing that there is no one to protect me at school,” says Trinity.
Trinity says more lives will be lost if authorities and parents do not come together to find a solution to the wayward behaviour of students. She added that the recent death of a student in a violent confrontation must serve as a workup call for authorities to take drastic action.