Young and old commemorate youth

2018-06-21 06:00
Nomzamo Community Hall was packed to capacity on Saturday as youth of Nomzamo shared experiences and how to better tackle challenges facing them. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Nomzamo Community Hall was packed to capacity on Saturday as youth of Nomzamo shared experiences and how to better tackle challenges facing them. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

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Young and old came out in their numbers to commemorate the 1976 June 16 Soweto Uprising in Nomzamo Community Hall on Saturday 16 June.

The day saw Youth Connect, Youth Take Over, Kuyakhanya Productions and the City of Cape Town create a platform for the youth of Strand to gather and address the socio-economic challenges they currently face.

They also touched on what the youth of 1976 faced in those difficult years under the apartheid government.

The purpose of this year’s event was to assess whether any strides had been made, particularly since the dawn of democracy 24 years ago, in eliminating these challenges.

The second purpose of the event was to unpack the generational contrasts between the youth of today and those of 1976.

It is said whereas the youth of 1976 had risen up against an unjust system, the youth of today seemed more concerned about “turn-ups”, parties, alcohol abuse, reckless behaviour and unprotected sex.

Aside from discussions, local groups were also provided with a platform to showcase their art through poetry, dance, drama and music.

One of the event’s organisers, Khanyiso Thakholi, told City Vision the day was as a way of bringing together the youth of the Strand to engage on many issues such as drugs and crime together.

“We wanted to bring local organisations under one roof to show that we can face the challenges we have as the youth of today together,” he said. “June 16 has over the years been synonymous with abuse of alcohol and a lot of crime.”

Thakholi says this needs to change, and youth need to challenge the system and work as a collective.

Sylvia Mzinyathi, a nurse, urged the youth to take over and control their own health.

“Youth need to be responsible and not rush to have sex among themselves,” she said.

“That will help in cutting down the infection rate of HIV. Youth also need to know that condoms are available to protect them.”

Mzinyathi urged those who are not infected to try by all means possible to ensure they are not infected.

She said if youth are infected they should take their medication, as that will help fight the spread of HIV.

The day also enabled the South African Police Service, health role-players and various churches to underscore common goals.

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