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Preserving the legacy of the youth of 1976

By Faeza
16 June 2015

Three weeks ago, I was invited together with other professionals to speak to Grade 11 and 12 learners on career day at Madidi, North–West. This Career day was organised by Modise Moloi of Tiisetso Leadership Foundation. What stood out for me was seeing learners who were thirsty for information, as well as professionals who made themselves available to impact the lives of these learners. I believe that the attitude to be difference makers and be available for our youth today is a continuation of what the youth of 1976 started.

There are positives we enjoy today from the legacy of the youth of 1976 but it is also evident that there is a lot that still has to be done in areas where schools are not adequately resourced and the culture and mind-set of a lot of learners leaves much to be desired.

The career day initiative brought my attention to two important points:

Firstly, There needs to be a change of mind-set and culture in our youth and communities. As an observer, a lot of learners focus on temporary thrills instead preparing for a good future. I don’t think the youth of 76 had mediocrity and these temporary thrills such as drugs and alcohol in mind when they risked their lives for the future of generations to come. Sadly acquiring self-knowledge and valuable information, relevant to choosing careers has become foreign to a lot of our learners while checking up on friends’ status updates on Facebook and chatting up a storm about things irrelevant to building a great future has become the order of the day.

Secondly, We have a responsibility to ensure that the legacy of the youth of 76 was not in vain. Here are a few things you and I can do on the ground to contribute to a healthy future of this generation and those to come.

  1. Lead by example. There is no point to preaching change to our learners if we ourselves do not become the change. If you are going to encourage learners to spend more time reading and learning then it should start with you.
  2. Adopt a Learner/mentor a learner. An alarming number of learners need a role model who will influence them positively on a daily basis. This is critical so that our learners do not assume that the less than ideal “celebrity lifestyles” they watch on TV and read about in tabloid magazines are what they should aspire to.
  3. Work with organisations, whose purpose is to influence our youth for the better by changing negative mind-sets and cultures and encouraging leadership, entrepreneurship and academic excellence
  4. Take the initiative to start a project no matter how small. For example, start a book club to encourage a culture of reading and learning that goes beyond the school gates.

Contributing Writer: Francine Mashabela

Founder and Careers Advisor @ Uniquely U Personal Development and Career Management Services/ Radio Presenter at Impact radio 103 fm/ Writer

Twitter: @ FranMashabela, Email:

Facebook Page: Uniquely U Personal Development and Career Management Services,