#YouthDay: The Soweto uprising was for all of us - Wandile Kokwana

2016-06-17 07:24
Wandile Kokwana. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Wandile Kokwana. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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#YouthDay - Forty years ago, high school learners from all over Soweto decided to march against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction. But today young people have different struggles.

When I wake up in the morning my first thoughts are how our education and young South Africans are going to look in the coming years, judging by how thing are at the moment.

When the youth of South Africa in the past were fighting for the medium of instruction, they were not just fighting to please themselves or please each other. They knew what they were doing was not just for them, but for the future of their brothers and sisters, even their kids one day.

Youth in Soweto in 1976 were fed-up being taught in a language they did not understand. They also had dreams and hopes for themselves in the future. This has now became a very big problem for the youth, because if you are taught in a language that you can't understand and you perhaps may be struggling with English, you will really battle to learn.

Now some of the children in the 21st century will want to drop out because they don't have patience and don't want to fight for what is theirs.

If you are determined to have a bright future and almost everything you planned is not going to plan, you will lose hope and that is what the children in 1976 fought for. They never lost their hopes because they were determined to have a bright future for themselves.

Children of today are spoilt by democracy. That is the reason most of our young children are dropping out of school and display such disgusting behaviour. They're saying "our parents fought for our rights".

Now if a child says that, how would you as a parent respond?

Today's youth do know about the word 'struggle', because they don't know what is to struggle. They want to be spoon-fed. 

Children of today have a variety of problems because they don't know what they want in life, especially when it becomes to decide about their future and it is a very painful thing to some parents.

Drugs and substance abuse is a very big thing for many of the youth. Teenage pregnancy and school dropout are other big problems in South Africa. Parent say they can't handle their kids because of the democracy.

Parents are now blaming the president and the leaders of South Africa for their children's behaviour and that is not a thing that they should be doing. If you can't raise your kids in a proper manner, you will suffer because of your kids' behaviour.

Back in the day, children were disciplined and had to be teaching their young brothers and sisters how to behave and to also loved school. Most of the children loved education and no one would ever think of dropping out of school.

That's the reason some of the children back then are now educated people and some of them are successful - they knew what they were doing is something that was going to help. Some of today's youth are also successful, but they have to first look at how they take care of themselves because everyone wants to be something one day and wants to be successful.

Education is the key to success and the youth of today need to be led by example to see that. Let's love our country and think of what we want in the future and for our young ones coming. 

* Wandile Kokwana, is a pupil at Langa High School.

- News24 will give the youth a voice on our platforms for Youth Day. A group of learners share their thoughts with you. What does Youth Day mean to you? Let us know your thoughts here.

Read more on:    cape town  |  youth  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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