Ahead of one of the biggest holidays in SA, Youth Day, eight local celebs share what this day means to them.
"I think it's important we remember our history, it's important that we get reminded of what it took for us to have the privileges and freedom we have as young people. It also reminds to be brave and never back down. We have the power to do more, we have to be reminded of that."
"Youth Day to me means the fight that the youth (that gave us this day) had to carry. It wasn't for themselves and their own pleasure but for the future of generations that followed after them. Every impact that we the youth of today have now will only be fully enjoyed by the future generation. The youth before build for us and we need to build for those who will come after us; whether it be social, political, economical or any other way. Youth Day is a big reminder of what the youth of the time have to do for the next generation."
Nambitha Ben Mazwi
"Youth Day is a reminder of the voice, force and significance that the youth plays in our country. It is a reminder as the youth we have a great deal of responsibility when in comes to current affairs and that we need to play a pivotal role in making sure the future looks bright for generations to come."
“June 16 is a reminder that the freedom I enjoy today was fought hard for by the youth of '76, and shouldn't be taken for granted. It's a reminder that I need to exploit all the opportunities that we as young adults have today, in pursuit of my dreams. I'm also inspired by the youth of '76 to make my voice heard and to actively fight against the abuse and violence that continues to plague women in my country.”
Enhle Mbali Maphumulo
“To me, it’s a constant reminder of the past but more than that, is a testament to the power of a young mind and the courage it possesses. I live in a time where the youth is in constant fear of the unknown, but the lesson I’ve taken from that is to stand up for the truth, and stand for something with substance.”
“June 16 is a day of remembrance and celebration – I celebrate that I’m a born-free and that I can live in a society where the youth have a voice. I’m part of a society where I can express myself and pursue the career of my passion. On this day, we commemorate the youth of 1976 for the struggle endured and their fight to ensure that I may receive a good education. We come from a generation that can stand their own ground and fight for what they believe in.”
“June 16 always makes me feel so emotional. The youth believed in something so much back in '76 that they were willing to fight for it no matter the risk or the outcome. Those events also shaped the future for South Africa. As a young person in 2017 it's important for us to celebrate being young and beautiful, to honour, celebrate and respect the youth. Youth Day always reminds me to stand up for what I believe in.”
Chazz Le Hippie
“We are the next leaders – what we do today determines tomorrow's history and sets the pace for the next generation of leaders. So it's important for us to learn from those that put their lives on the line for us to reap the rewards today. We’re faced with many struggles and challenges, especially with education and fees. Being a student makes June 16 even more significant to me. I will always be grateful for the class of ‘76.”
“It's about continuously honouring the youth of '76 and remembering how hundreds of young people took to the streets to fight for their rights. As a nation, we need to be proud of that. It represents a turning point for South Africa where young people understood the power in unity. And, rest In peace to those whose names will forever be engraved in our history.”