16 June 1976 was a pivotal day in our country’s struggle against apartheid, led by young people of school-going age. The youth of ‘76, who took part in the Soweto Uprising, played a major role in drawing the world’s attention to the issues faced by oppressed people in South Africa.
We have rounded up 5 ways technology can help you pay tribute to the bravery of these young people this Youth Day.
- Ask questions
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Youth Day on the 16th of June or what actually led up to thousands of school children staging a peaceful protest on that fateful day or even who took that iconic photo of Hector Pieterson? The great thing about technology today is that you can literally just pick up your phone, and ask. The Google Assistant can answer any number of spoken or written questions about when and why we celebrate Youth Day. Go ahead, try it: “Hey Google, why does Youth Day fall on the 16th of June in South Africa?”
- Watch it
Photographer Sam Nzima, whose photograph of Mbuyisa Makhubu carrying gunned-down 13-year-old Hector Pieterson away from the crowds during the Soweto uprising, sat down with TIME Magazine in 2016 (alongside Pieterson’s sister) to shoot a short 11-minute video documentary on the events of 16 June 1976. You can watch the documentary for free on the TIME YouTube Channel under the title Soweto Uprising: The Story Behind Sam Nzima’s Photograph.
- Find the memorial
Did you know that the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Soweto are located a short 8-minute walk away from President Nelson Mandela’s house? With Street View on Google Maps, you can take a short “walk” from Nelson Mandela’s house to the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Orlando West.
- Visit a virtual exhibit
Soweto Riots: The Day Our Children Lost Faith is an online exhibit of images and a 360-degree view of the Hector Pieterson Memorial curated by Baileys African History Archive and Africa Media Online and hosted by Google Arts & Culture. Visit the virtual exhibit which tells the story of how a protest that started out peacefully ended in the loss of innocent lives.
- Upskill yourself
At the time of the Soweto Uprising, South African youth in the townships and rural areas had very few options for the lives they would lead after grade school. Fast forward to 2020, and today some interesting options exist for anyone to acquire the skills they need through platforms like Google Digital Skills for Africa where you can learn how to grow your career or business at your own pace, and obtain an accredited certificate that can help boost your prospects.
We may be under lockdown, but we can still commemorate the lives of the youth of ‘76 and celebrate their resilience – without leaving the house.