Ben Okri once wrote: “The only power that poor people have is hunger”. June 16 came and passed like the previous years with no resonance and meaning to the current Youth of South Africa. Our country has the highest rate of unemployment and the youth are mostly affected by poverty. Surprisingly, our youth are failing to use the only power that they have to change the status quo.
It is not a myth that hunger can turn a lazy mind into a creative mind. However, these norm is the missing part in South African youth and the sooner we realise this the better for all of us.
We must strive to learn a thing or two in any circumstance or situation that is part of our history. 16 June 1976 is now part of our painful history but we can learn something from it that will enable us to fulfil our dreams and aspirations. We must bear in mind that the commemoration of this day was meant to raise awareness in the current generation and to enlighten us to see the importance of coming together to stage a fight against all our challenges and societal ills.
By merely wearing school uniforms and abusing alcohol and drugs as a way of celebrating youth day, we are unconsciously reversing the gains that were brought to us by our hard fought democracy. It is therefore necessary to identify and fulfil our dreams before we betray them unwittingly.
Every young person must strive to bring a change in every corner that he/she occupies in order to build a country of our dreams. Let us spare this historic day from being reduced to a mere talk shop and a day of rhetoric by greedy politicians.
It is the responsibility of the current generation to give this day the honour it deserves by learning the courage and determination of the 1976 generation and make it relevant in the fight against current challenges.