June has been declared youth month to pay tribute to the young pupils who had lost their lives during the June 16 uprising in Soweto. This year marks its 39th anniversary. The main commemoration event was held Tuesday, June 16 in Gauteng. This year’s theme is “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime”.
June 17 th, 2015
The event started with a prayer session by young religious leaders at Freedom Park, followed by a walk from Freedom Park to the Tshwane Events Centre where the official celebration was held. Though the national Youth Day celebration took place in Gauteng, various events were organised all across South Africa. Ladies interviewed a few young people on the significance of Youth Day and the youth’s participation in the development of the country. Here’s what they had to say:
Reinir Vorster, Gauteng: “Given the history of South Africa, I believe Youth Day is an important event as I believe the economic future of SA is in the hands of the youth. [This] creates [hope] [looking] at the current challenges in SA.”
RakshaShing, Durban: “Well, it reminds me that our country’s history was once dark and bloody. Age did not matter and you were only worth something if your skin was fair. But regardless their age, teenagers fought for something other than themselves. They had dreams that were bigger than themselves that they were brave enough to fight for. So June 16 reminds me that no dream is too big and [beyond] reach.”
Does SA’s youth freely partake in the development of the country?
Reinir Vorster: “I believe SA has a lot of opportunities for the youth. However, it is each youth’s responsibility to take hold of the opportunities presented to them and not expect the previous generations to hand them success. As the world is changing through technology, I also believe that the responsibility of the youth will grow in most economies. An example of that is already clear if one looks at the success stories of many young entrepreneurs. Looking at the future is a privilege [for] every young person. It is, however, each one’s responsibility to use each [opportunity].”
Raksha Singh: “Yes, youth are active partakers in the economy. We are not afraid to take the risk of opening our own businesses. With our own business comes [employing] other people. We have a vision that’s bigger than what our parents had, and these visions tend to make or break a person. As youth, we can afford the break if something does not work out.”
Ladies Africa: What is the thing you like the most about being a youth?
Raksha Singh: “Well, the freedom that I have taken for granted, of course! The freedom that the youth before have fought for me to have. Now, I have the world at my fingertips and I have realised this is the beauty of being a South African youth. I can go anywhere and do anything.”
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