This year’s youth month marks 45 years since young people from across the country took to the streets to protest against Apartheid education policies in 1976.
When Afrikaans and English were made compulsory as a medium of instruction in schools in 1974, township students began mobilizing themselves. In 1976, they started protesting. What started off as a peaceful demonstration soon became a massacre as students were gunned down. Dozens of students were killed and thousands injured.
On Youth Day, Soweto-born real estate agent, businessman, and philanthropist ‘TT’ Mbha will be remembering the youth of 1976 through a golfing tournament held at the Soweto Country Club, built in 1974 by avid golfers from Soweto.
Some of the proceeds will go towards buying non-perishable foods and winter blankets for the Soweto Kliptown Youth Foundation (SKY).
“I am no longer a youth, but this day is to help youth from Soweto and South Africa to make a difference where they come from,” TT says.
“This day is to celebrate fallen heroes and encourage the youth of today to use the freedom to better their lives, to do better in their communities, and dream bigger."
TT says golf has always been for the elite. “But we are breaking those stereotypes, we are grooming the next Tiger Woods to come from Africa,” he says.
Supported by the Gauteng Province and Brands SA where TT is the ambassador for Play your Part, he hopes this event will happen every year.
“We are planning to go bigger so we can help people from different provinces,” he says.
“We want youth to start sealing business deals on the golf course,” he adds. Joining him on the golf course playing with other youth is Owen Hannie, T-bo Touch, Stanton Fredericks, Thomas Mlambo, Andile Ncube, and OG Molefe.
TT Mbha believes in creating opportunities for the youth that were not available whilst he was a youth.
“This project is close to my heart. Growing up in Soweto; we had access to very few sports. I wish to lend a helping hand where I can in bettering the lives of the youth for them to become future leaders. We plan to host the annual Soweto Youth Golf Day until the youth is off the streets and poverty is alleviated,” TT Mbha says.
Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Mbali Hlophe encourages youth development through sports: “Sport has helped this great nation forge unity across race, class and gender lines during our most difficult time. We continue to use it as a critical tool for transformation as we build on our development state. In this regard, the Soweto Youth Golf Day will enable many young kids from our township to gain access to golf, a sport commonly known to be reserved for the well-off. Through its introduction, the sport will enable the province to break the divide between the haves and have nots.”
Sithembile Ntombela, Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Brand South Africa: "At the helm of active citizenship is passion and a will to serve others. The legacy began with the youth of 76 and it our responsibility to play our part in preserving the heritage.”
Tbo Touch: “As we remember the youth of 1976, let us be mindful of their struggle and ensure we live to be the manifestation of their dream and aspirations.”
Andile Ncube: “On June 16, 1976, they died and laid a red carpet with their blood for you and me. On June 16, 2021, we honour them by being the long-awaited dream! In the words of LS, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
OG Molefe: “We should never forget about the sacrifices made by the youth of 1976."
Stanton Fredericks: “The youth is the future of our country. Let’s get behind them and play our part. Show your support on June 16.”