The power of celebrating Youth Day

2017-06-30 06:00

THE preamble of the Constitution states that Youth Day commemorations are a tribute to the youth who fought and suffered for justice and freedom in our country.
This day is not only about the past, but very much about today and the future.
This year’s celebration of Youth Day takes place in the year that we celebrate the life and times of Oliver Reginald Tambo, affectionately known as “OR Tambo”.

Our commemoration this year is marked by advancing youth economic empowerment and is informed by ideals of OR Tambo who once said: “The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.”
This is a tribute to everyone who pursued and those who are continuing to build a just and democratic society.
It is a reminder to today’s young people of the determination to take responsibility of the kind of future that the Constitution envisages.

The current youth generation has claimed the victory of our forebears and now we need determination to take responsibility for the kind of future we want.
The success of economic emancipation will depend on every young person’s appreciation, respect and promotion of our constitutional values, rights and principles.
What must take priority is access to quality education, access to employment opportunities and to curb the scourge of violence committed against women and children.

Young people have a generational call to fulfill and for that to be achieved need young people to set new norms and standards that are guided by unity in diversity for the benefit of future generations.

Youth Day should be used as a reminder that the future is in the hands of young people. Young people must lead the struggle for their liberation as the events of 1976 made young people lose patience with the system that deprived them of dignity, equality and freedom.
Let us all combine our efforts to ensure we don’t betray our generational call because the record of history won’t be left blank.

Zolani Siqwayi



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