Revolution! Fight What We Want: History of ANC Youth League

2012-01-15 17:25

As a historian, I have made it my professional outlook to reduce everything to its characteristic mark. That simply means distilling every issue or factor to its essential qualities so that we can easily have a concrete view without worrying about the details. I would like to briefly touch on the ANC Youth League...


The African National Congress Youth League (ANC Youth League) was inspired by the fire charged Nelson Mandela and his supporters like Walter Sisulu as they gathered at the Bantu Men's Social Centre in 1944. The Bantu Men's Social Centre was erected by Rev. Ray E. Phillips (1889-1967) of the American Board Mission in central Johannesburg for recreational activities for Africans.  The Social Centre was located on Ellof Street at the edge of Johannesburg's heartland, among cheap food stores. The Social Centre featured a gymnasium and a stage. In this gathering Nelson Mandela jumped to the stage without any prior planning and pronounced Freedom in Our Life Times: What we Want What we Believe we Demand.

The group collectively believed that the non-violent campaign waged by its mother body the African National Congress is not yielding any fruits and any promised changes to their lifestyle via the 'traditional' methods employed by the mother body is taking too long. The language of the ANC Youth League from its inception under Mandela  has been persistently combative and aggressive as was its public stance.

Just like under Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League under Mandela preached a "revolutionary war". They were willing to threaten any person through speech and demonstrations to get what they wanted. Mandela’s  aggressive tactics were to define and shape future leaders of the ANC Youth league and its character ultimately.Even today the language of the current ANC Youth League remains fire charged and revolutionary, demanding economic freedom for all Africans, and change of leadership. The current slogan of the ANC Youth League is still revolutionary: "Fight Produce Learn”.

The ANC Youth League's  provocative rhetoric, militant posture, and cultural and political flourishes has permanently altered the contours of African identity. Its character is that of pan Africanism; its speaks of the African Agenda (solidarity with all Africans across the Continent); and it speaks of the threat of imperialism in Botswana.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.