Young people without a positive purpose in life can be a danger to society. That’s because all that unused energy could easily be channeled into negative action. Which is what we are seeing, especially on the streets of Apia.
What can we do about them? And how can we change their future?
Twenty-one-year-old Faaolataga Faaaliga of Samatau said the answer is for Samoa to return to the basics and get back to its roots. It calls for young people to listen and obey their elders.
“Every time news comes out that involves youths I get really sad but mostly angry and disgusted by it,” he told the village voice.
“The reason is that these youths are being silly and acting stupidly which is very sad because only a few of them are doing this and yet we are all affected by it.
“People will take one look at us and they think we are all the same as other youth members silly and stupid which makes me angry because I know I’m not like that.
“I can also speak on behalf of the youths of our village Samatau; try and come visit us during the evening then you will believe in what I am saying.
“At night time we will be in our homes doing a family prayer by 7 o’clock in the evening then we will have dinner, after dinner will spend time with families sitting on graves and just talking.
“We hardly get into fights with other youths because we know nothing good comes out of that, it only embarrasses our parents and especially our aiga.”
Mr. Faaaliga doesn’t work but he looks after his family and especially his parents by going fishing.
“I wasn’t really a bright student in school hence why I don’t work but I believe I get more money from what I do than the people who are working in office nowadays.
“Fishing is my way of living and sometimes my plantation as well,” he told the Village Voice.
“Who said only office people can become rich? No that’s just wrong I get $300tala a day from fishing and I tell you I make more money just by fishing than other people who are sitting in the office every day.
“My income from fishing is someone else’s pay for the whole week and I know because I’ve got friends who have jobs that come to me and tell me this.
“I tell you money is everywhere and we are sitting on money from the ocean and the plantation we just need to go and find it.”
Moreover the 21-year-old said it saddens him when he sees the youth nowadays being unproductive.
“Most of them just stay home and depend on their parents to feed, clothe and do everything for them,” said Mr. Faaaliga.
“How can you just stay home and expect your parents to feed you? That’s what they did when we were young but at this age it is our job to feed them and look after them.
“But instead of looking after them we (youth) embarrass them by acting silly and then get punished by the village matai or even worse get banned from the village.
“I just get angry when I hear stories like this because our parents are paying the price for our stupid actions.
“We have to repay their love by looking after them.
“Make them (parents) our priority as we were theirs when we were young.
“Repay the love that they have shown to us and make use of the money and love that they have spent on us.
“Stop being silly and stop wasting time. Otherwise we will end up in trouble from wrong decisions and silly actions.
“So my advice for all my youth brothers and sisters out there make use of the time.
“Look after our parents as they had looked after us when we were young.”