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What is the real issue?

This past week saw much hype around the FNB advertising campaign. Talk around the country focussed on whether the FNB advert was out of line, whether the ANC reaction was justified and if FNB should have canned their advert. The questions being asked in conversations around the country are "Should FNB have caved into the ANC demands?" and even more concerning "Is there any hope for the future?"

What is missing in the debate however is the real underlying message of the advert – YOU CAN HELP

It is the essence of the message that has been lost – the message which says each and every one of us can help. We cannot rely on government alone to drive change and it is up to each of us to take responsibility for our futures.

We must not lose sight of what our youth are thinking and feeling. Prior to launching the campaign FNB commissioned an independent survey, which highlighted that 70% of the youth are positive about the future of our country. It is this attitude of the youth which is most encouraging as it conveys a message of accountability and belief. Let us consider the comments of our youth expressed in the campaign:

A high school pupil from KwaZulu-Natal: “We must not depend on our leaders. Each person must become their own hero".

A Western Cape student said: "I was born in an epic era.... We need to stop relying on government and rely on ourselves."

There are always three sides to a story and in this case: the FNB side, the ANC side and the youth’s side. Rather than debating the sides of the ANC or FNB – let us stand behind the third side, the message of our youth and be inspired by their positive attitudes and encourage by their spirit of ownership. Let us lead by example in both our conversations and daily actions. Let us be motivated to spread the message further.