What today represents marks one of the most significant turning points in South African history. It has been 40 years since the students of Soweto organized a peaceful march standing together against Afrikaans being taught as a first language in schools. The reaction of the police, opening fire to unarmed and innocent youth killing them led to dire consequences. Not only did June 16 be known as the day where many people sacrificed their lives but the year 1976 became revolutionary. We live in a world today where social media is so powerful, at a click of a button news spreads instantly. How was it possible for young people of 1976 to come by the thousands to rally each other? The battle that seemed insurmountable was over turned. That is the Power of Youth.
Cape Town is on a brink of a creative explosion. I find myself setting my eyes towards young Capetonians who are taking control of their careers and owning their identity. I love my time here, meeting people who are driven and ambitious is refreshing.
In this piece, over and above this day, I celebrate strong and beautiful black women who are a force in their fields. I asked each one of them to complete the statement “How I make the Youth of 1976 proud.” These women are a personal Inspiration to me and that is what I hope will be the affect. Sacrifices of our past leaders was not in vain.
Happy Youth Day. Amandla to the Youth of 1976.
Lucy Worsley. Entreprenuer; Experiential Extraordinaire.
On Wednesday 1976, a revolution was born and a change was made.
I don’t think I can ever compare myself to what those students had stood up and fought for on that day.
They took their future into their own hands, no matter the blood, sweat and tears that were shed.
This shows a very strong sense of courage and character that I could only try and amount up to.
What I can say is that I too am taking my future into my own hands and trying to create platforms for other to shed their light in a creative space.
I consider myself a young South African entrepreneur that is apart of a new generation of forward thinkers. We are doers rather than thinkers, we determine our own future.
If it hadn’t been for the movement on this day then I wouldn’t of had a platform to create amazing experiences and story tell to allow people to imagine a different world.
I can only hope that I inspire the youth for change in a positive way, and encourage them to be the change of their own future.
“I come as one, but stand as ten thousand” Maya Angelou.
Lethabo Letube- Chairperson of Great Corner. Recipient of the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
I make issues right. I am living by example, I try to change the norm. I work in way’s that will change my community and society. I am eager about knowledge and spreading it. I am twenty year’s old, driven and looking to make a difference in this world.
Buhle Ngaba. Actress and Author.
I make the youth of 1976 proud by continuing the search for my own voice as a black woman and finding ways to not only make my own voice loud, but by encouraging others to do the same. Through these voices, we are given an opportunity to begin writing our own narratives.
Nosipho Dumisa. Film Director.
In 1976 the youth fought against a system that sought to dictate peoples’ identity through an oppressive education system. To say that the youth at that time couldn’t imagine a future where they had choice would be to lie – they could envision it very well and that is why that stood up for that future. What they paid for with their blood and freedom, I am able to claim freely and at times I think we take that for granted. I do not waste my time with complacency – I dare to dream big like they did and I am taking my own risks. I have decided to take ownership of my future by starting my own business and choosing the stories I tell. As I continue to learn in this industry, I try to open doors for other young fillm makers of colour and pass on any knowledge I may have gained. I’m not sure if I’m making that amazing group of people proud with the choices I’ve made but I really hope so.