This Thursday, South Africa celebrates Youth Day – a true celebration of our country’s youth and the power of their voices. Commemorating the Soweto Uprising of 1976, Youth Day celebrates the contribution young people made in the struggle against apartheid.
Today, the youth continues to play a pivotal role in shaping our new South Africa and this Youth Day, some of Mzansi’s celebrities share messages of hope and inspiration.
Carol Ofori, author and East Coast Radio radio personality.
Television and radio personality Carol Ofori says that although South Africa is in a fragile state at the moment as a result of the pandemic, a rise in the cost of food and fuel, the delicate power situation and the fact that unemployment is at its highest, it’s important to stay focused on the silver lining. “Mzansi youth is so resilient,” she says. “I just want to encourage the youth of Mzansi to keep being strong, keep being resilient and keep believing in South Africa and fighting for your rights and for what you deserve. Just keep the love for Mzansi going.”
DJ Sabby, Metro FM radio personality and DJ
For DJ Sabby, Youth Day remains such an important day to celebrate. “The history behind June 16 is such a solid moment in our history that we can’t ignore and dilute the strength and dedication the youth of that era had towards their liberation for a better South Africa.” He adds “I think the challenges that young people face in South Africa today are far too big to ignore that it’s hard being young in South Africa right now. Everything has become expensive, jobs require years of experience that one doesn’t always have, getting an education is expensive and corruption means many are consistently stealing from the youth. That said, my message to youth is that the future belongs to the young. Keep pushing and keep fighting to make this country everything you dream it to be.”
Martin Bester, Jacaranda FM radio personality
Presenter and media personality Martin Bester understands that everyone is fighting their own battles and that, with the continued rise of social media, comparison is the ultimate thief of joy. This Youth Day, the Jacaranda FM breakfast host wants the youth to remember to celebrate small wins and to leave the world in a better state than they found it. “Don’t believe social media when it tells you that success is measured in material things. It’s a lie.” He adds “The greatest people in history won’t be remembered for the car they drove or how big their rings are. They will be remembered for things far more profound and, sometimes, more simple.”
Kriya Gangiah, radio and television personality
As someone who started their career on youth TV, Kriya doesn’t underestimate the power the youth holds. She encourages Mzansi’s future leaders to remember the impact the Soweto Uprising had on the country, and continue making a positive impact on – because South Africa deserves it. “This Youth Day, we need to remember the work that the youth of South Africa has done for the growth of our country,” Kriya says. “It’s also important to spend time reflecting on how, we, the youth of today, can improve on the legacy that they have left behind. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’”
Zanele Potelwa, radio and television personality
For Selimathunzi host Zanele Potelwa, the youth represents a fresh outlook on life and this Youth Day, she encourages the young people of our nation to reach for the stars and make sure tomorrow is brighter than today. “To the youth of today, the dream chasers, the move makers, the generation that’s about making things happen – we are powerful beyond measure! Let’s stay the course and keep taking things into our hands as much and as far as we possibly can,” Zanele exclaims. “Tomorrow belongs to us and while sometimes it may seem like the statistics are against us, we are the generation that will succeed against all odds. There is victory in our tomorrow!”