Unveiling the hidden voices of young people

By Lubalethu Ndlovu

Growing up in the sprawling Cowdry Park suburb, west of Bulawayo metropolitan province, Andile Sayi (20), a budding writer says when she was growing up, she felt that she was often misunderstood and that her voice was not heard or considered.

‘The book of Anon’ was written by Andile Sayi ( 20), a young woman who says young people feel excluded from decision making at family, community and national level

Andile now seeks to use her writing skills to unveil the voices of young people that are often excluded from family and community discussions.

“As a young girl, I often felt that my views were not considered by older people in my family and community. I struggled to make myself be heard and I always had the urge to explain myself in order for people to understand me, but it did not help,” says Andile.

Andile says the attitude of some older people often lead young people to keep things to themselves. This, Andile says, has negative implications on the lives of young people.

Andile mastered the art of writing at an early age. She used her skills to write a collection of poetry that speaks from all angles possible without fear of judgement. The book, entitled ‘The Book of Anon’ was published by Underclass Books and Films Education. Andile says the book is a window through which she views the world.

The book is written from the lenses of young people. Andile says young people often keep things to themselves but there is need for adults to learn how to communicate with young people.

“We are often hiding the things that actually bother us, l felt the need to get into as many shoes possible and try to speak from them the things they hide but they would never confidently reveal,” says Andile.

Before venturing into book writing, Andile says she had participated in various essay writing contests back in high school. She is the winner of the Magdalene Chapel Essay Competition of Scotland (2015) and Cover to cover (2016).

Andile is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science Honours in Informatics degree at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She says she was inspired into writing by Hailee Steinfeld’s character in the American comedy series Dickinson.

“Hailee’s character is meant to resemble the life of the great American poet Emily Dickinson who was little-known during her life. I fell in love with Hailee’s character because it was just different and I think she was weird, but cool kind of weird I could totally relate to,” she said.

Andile encourages young people to avoid bottling anything that bothers them. She says there are creative ways of expressing oneself. She says her plans are to continue writing so as to let out her opinions.