Just last week, I bumped into yet another millennial who said to me a sentence that had “..you millennials…” in it, and I could not stop myself from marvelling at that. I marvelled because she referred to me as a millennial in a way to mean that I am a separate group from hers, which is funny because we celebrated her 30th birthday just last month!
I realised, however, that many people think that ‘millennial’ is a term that is used to describe every other young person they come across. In some instances, it has been used synonymously with adolescents, youth and/or young people. It is important that we don’t use words we don’t understand. So I did some reading on generations and prepared this short blog post that I hope will remind you not to call every young person you come across a Millennial.
The Lost generation: 1883-1900.
Oldest in 2021: 138yrs and the
Youngest in 2021: 121yrs.
They were there during the 1st world war. How to know one? You don’t have to, they’re probably not around any more.
The Greatest Generation: 1901-1927
Oldest: 120yrs and the
Majority of them directly or indirectly served in WW2. How to know one? They’re really really old!
The Silent Generation: 1928-1945
Depending on the circumstances, they might have fought for Kenya’s independence or might have collaborated with the Mubeberu.
You know one when you refer to them as Guka or Cucu.
Baby Boomers: 1946-1964
Might also have fought for Kenya’s independence, listened to Benga more than their predecessors.
You certainly know one. They are your dad or mom. I think aunty were Harrier pia wako hapa.
Generation X: 1965-1980
Probably drank Maziwa ya Nyayo. There’s no scientific evidence that it made them make better political choices.
You know one because they’ve asked you “Si uko wozzap?” As if we didn’t teach them the very basics of chatting.
Millennials brought us the internet and taught their parents how to use smart phones.
You know one because if you ask them about Kim Kardashian, they will tell you how she broke the internet.
Gen Z: 1997-2012
Well, we live only once.
We’re described as lazy, but we’re not. And we can do crazy sh*t with the internet.
Gen Alpha: 2013-2028
Oldest as at 2021: 8yrs
Born in Jayden’s 1st term as the President of a Nation and not a boys’ club.
You know one just by looking at them!
For some reason (that I couldn’t find), each generation spans 15 years. In each of them, the times in which they were brought up shaped how they behaved how they influenced the behaviour of their children. That means that as marketers, a deep understanding of generations is key to the success of our marketing endeavours.
In closing, I realise that I have not seen much literature on generations in Africa. There seems to be no research going on in Africa about Gen Z, for example. I implore research firms in the continent to collect data on such things as these in order to facilitate better understanding of the worlds’ youngest population and how to reach to them for better development.