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The “Generations” generation & Millenials

how generations inspired millenials in south africa

Do you think it’s a coincidence that so many millennials are drawn to the beauty, media and advertising space? Many won’t admit it but subliminally we were inspired by watching Generations, the soap. It was one of the only shows that had a multicultural cast that actually showed black and brown people of power. Low-key we all are trying to build our own New Horizons agency like the Moroka family. It’s no coincidence how many Millenials have beauty pages on Instagram and YouTube.

We used to watch Karabo order more Black-Like-Me products for her beauty parlour, Monik’s, on a daily basis. It’s interesting how anyone between the ages of 24 and 38 lives a life that mirrors what happened on Generations in the ’90s and early 2000s. If you’re not vegan like Zoleka, in the clubs like Sonny Jacobs, perhaps you’re a creative like Glen Majozi. Our parents were more open-minded about our career choices because they saw successful Ad Execs on Generations.

The effect of Television Programming on Millenials

Firstly, let’s clarify one thing that people get confused. Most people think Millenials are the kids born in the new Millenium i.e the year 2000 and up. However, Millenials are actually born between 1981 and 1996. We are the kids who used to sit and watch Generations with our parents at 8 o clock every evening. We probably hate adverts today because when an episode went on commercial break it was an opportunity for our lazy parents to send us to go make them a cup of tea.

Fact is, watching Generations was almost a religion for most households in South Africa. We followed the characters lives as if they were real. In fact, some actors would get attacked in real life because of what their on-screen character was doing to a fan’s favourite character. Kids are the most impressionable beings. We may not have understood the love triangles and intricate details that were beyond our age but we definitely understood a lot more than what our parents may have imagined.

For those of us who grew up in less than desirable circumstances, the only powerful and successful people we knew were the Moroka’s. They owned a media empire and live a life many of us aspired to. It’s really not that much of a coincidence how many of us live our lives today. Take a second and search for old Generations episodes on YouTube, compare that with what career you follow today and how you live your life. You’d be surprised how many parallels you will notice. There’s no denying that Generations truly did inspire a generation.

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