Youth Day – 47 Years later

By Anlé Britz

On the 16th of June 2022, we commemorate 47 years since the Soweto Uprising. We recognise and pay tribute to the thousands of students that stood their ground against the decision of the then Bantu Education Department who enforced that Afrikaans were to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in black secondary schools. While the march was peaceful, close to one thousand students lost their lives in confrontations with the police. This day demands its place on our annual South African calendar as the youth played a huge role in the liberation of South Africa.

Have you been to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg? If not, I highly recommend that you make your way to Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd. While you might leave without words and a lump in your throat, it is good to know where our history lies. It shapes and defines us and to shy away from the hard truth and the history that initiated so much change in our country.

We say that the youth is the future of our generations, and we need to listen to what they have to say. They are calling for change – change on how we live and how we treat our world. We see our youth stand up and speak up on how we should build a world that is habitable and beautiful and peaceful for hundreds of years to come. They use all forms of art, videos, photos, poetry, theatre, campaigns, protests and music to share their points of views and exclaim their cries of fear for their futures. Are we seeing, are we listening and are we doing? We should participate in changing the system today – not tomorrow. We do not have to sacrifice our youth for the enforced power-driven systems and lifestyle that we conveniently live now.