They are grateful for ever sacrifice made by the youth of 1976. They led the way so that today's youth could have opportunities.
And these two TV actresses have grabbed their opportunities with both hands.
As the country commemorates Youth Day today, two TV personalities share their thoughts about the day and what it means to them.
Muvhango actress Innocentia Manchidi (28) says it is very important for her to make sure that young people stand for their truth, and they are not intimidated because they are hardworking.
“We are a hard-working generation and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise,” she says. “We are the generation where people take up cleaning or cashier jobs when they have a degree in the bag. We are not lazy or picky. People are out there pushing, hustling and working hard.
“I am grateful that I have been blessed to be able to work for the last 10 years but I am not oblivious to the fact that there are people who are sitting at home with degrees, and they have not entered the job market yet. Nobody sits in poverty for fun but there are just no opportunities and yet young people are pushing. Those of us who are in fortunate positions should never speak about unemployment and poverty from places of privilege.”
Innocentia says the youth of 1976 sacrificed a lot and now she is reaping those benefits.
“If I am completely honest, I could never survive the things the young people of 1976 had to survive. When you read and watch movies you see the torture and the brutality of the system that they stood up against. When we look back, we can see that we have it easy compared to them and we are reaping the benefits of their sacrifices. Their story can never be forgotten or taken for granted. We need to come through for each other, plug each other about opportunities so that the dreams that our parents fought for can be realized.
“We have a long way to go as a country. We have to do better to honour them and what they fought for. It is sad that we must be talking of corruption and fees must fall when they did their best and laid down their lives so that we could live better than they did,” she adds.
Innocentia says while this generation is not lazy, there is a tendency to hide behind keypads and complain instead of getting up and fighting like the youth of 1976.
Oratile Maitisa, who plays Eunice on Skeem Saam, agrees that sometimes today’s youth relies on government too much.
“Sometimes I think we are too entitled, myself included. We complain about what government should be doing and how they should be helping us instead of getting things done ourselves.
“We should have the fighting spirit of the youth of 1976. As a young woman who is able to do what she loves I know I am indebted to them because where I come from in Limpopo young girls did not go to school because no one wanted to invest in them because they would go off and be married. Today, we are able to go to school and be whatever we choose to be and if we change our minds, we can do so freely. The youth of 1976 fought and died so that I, as a young woman, can stand up for my dreams and what I believe in. That is not something I take lightly at all,” she says.