By Tsepiso Theko
More than 40 years since the Soweto uprising of 1976. My father says he was 13 years old and marching behind a young crowd in Kanyamazane,Nelspruit,without even knowing what was being protested . Hector Peterson,was also a 12 year old who was probably not supposed to be there in the first place. Today he is our hero because he died in a significant day that commemorates the defiance of young South Africans. Hector died not because he was violent but because he was a young black kid marching with the people questioning the system and because it was easier to kill a black kid than having them speak out.
16 June is a reminder that the future has always belonged to the youth. That the youth can question everything they do not understand, that they can change it. The fight to total emancipation of black people and equality in this country is one that is still being fought. It is our right as young people to question everything that does not serve us or empower us as individuals and as a society.
Today, South Africa is experiencing diverse times, not only politically, but our country has also become the epitome of social ills. With issues such as drug abuse,rape,femicide,racism and inequality rising in our communities and our country,we have an obligation to not only identify these social injusticies ,but also find solutions for them.
Today,as the youth,we need to confront issues that affect us with as much zeal and defiance as that of the youth of 1976. We have to be collective in our different voices. In our different places,wherever and whenever we have the influence to change things for the better we should do so. Whether it is in workplaces or Universities.
44 years from now,young people will be looking back for a voice they can identify with. When they do,they must find that we stood for what we believed in,so that they can do The same.
Happy youth month!