Honestly, what is there to celebrate about being young in SA?

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A man holds a poster with the words "we are hungry, let's protect each other" on it to mark the Youth Day holiday in Soweto. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP
A man holds a poster with the words "we are hungry, let's protect each other" on it to mark the Youth Day holiday in Soweto. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

VOICES

What then does it mean to constantly invoke the spirit of the ’76 youth? The constant celebration of June 16 is nothing short of an empty ritual that has become meaningless over time. This kind of nostalgia is dangerous if it does not present any inspiration that will lead to material change. To emulate and even continue the legacy of the youth of ’76 this generation needs to know what it seeks to achieve. With all the problems currently facing the youth it needs to organise and galvanise itself around a commonality and use that to unite and struggle together as a unit. The ability of the ’76 generation to mobilise was based on the simple premise of being able to point directly at what they wanted to achieve. What seemed like a simple struggle of fighting against a language policy became a resistance movement that gestured towards the possibility of complete liberation for black people.

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