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Generation born from 1993 onwards dubbed Centennials

Youth agency Student Village's latest Youth Culture Report, based on research that covered Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, has dubbed the new generation, the 'Centennials'.
Student Village, CEO, Marc Kornberger revealing the research. Image supplied.
Student Village, CEO, Marc Kornberger revealing the research. Image supplied.

The research revealed that this generation, born from 1993 onwards, no longer fit into the ‘millennials’ category. The Centennials come with their own set of worldviews, beliefs and aspirations.

Myths dispelled


The new Youth Culture Report has dispelled several myths commonly held about the youth, such as the notion that young people are lazy and entitled; defiant of authority and therefore unemployable. Another myth busted was that the youth are not interested in reading challenging material and prefer superficial such as the Kardashians. The widely held view that the youth are a homogenous, predictable group, was also revealed to be untrue.

At a recent presentation held by Student Village, CEO, Marc Kornberger revealed a few insights into the habits of the incredibly diverse Centennials generation. “Our research shows that this generation has serious spending power, spending R32bn per annum which is more than the average South African,” Kornberger shared. “We know that brands want to target them, but don’t know how to be relevant. The research aimed to dive deeper into the new youth generation, looking at their drivers, values, and what makes them tick,” he added.

At this presentation, Kornberger elaborated further: “Swimming against the tide, this new group is creating their own culture, telling their own stories, setting their own rules and living by them. Unlike previous generations, this one is fearless and willing to take risks. They are exploring entrepreneurship earlier. Their understanding of the internet and social media has made it easier for them to run their businesses operational almost at no cost by simply using the web. They value money and power and strive to attain it by working smart rather than working hard.”

Biggest discoveries

  • They were born into a digital world and are digital natives
  • The youth look to new technology that can help them save money while having fun in the process.
  • Centennials have become even more image-conscious than their millennial predecessors and are selective about what they share on social media. 
  • Rather than spend money on materials thing to show off on social media, millennials opt to use their extra income to pay for unique experiences.
  • This generation believes in setting itself apart from the rest as opposed to blending in.
  • They are more interested in politics than they ever been before and have chosen to use their biggest weapon, social media to express their thoughts about social injustices like the #feesmustfall and #blacklivesmatter campaign.
  • More than just the fear of missing out (Fomo), there now exists a greater fear within the youth culture and that is the fear of being irrelevant (Fobi). They want to stay connected, always.

“Contrary to popular belief, centennials aren’t lazy and want handouts. In fact, they are self-reliant and believe in the spirit of hustling, going out there and getting what’s yours. This new group represents a huge part of the population and they have great influence on the country’s economy, what they like stays and what they hate goes,” Aires shared. Centennials have become more relevant as we see them engaging with culture, but mostly creating culture,” he concluded.

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