Despite unemployment rate which has remained stagnant at a worrying 27.7%. South African youth is still pursuing employment and calling for equality in South Africa. They have shown greater interest in politics than youth in western countries. They have understood the fundamental role played by politics in human development, countries economy and education. Looking back four decades ago, it is where this strength was inherited. It is no secret again that the youth in South Africa cannot be left out when mentioning the processes of defeating the apartheid regime. It was the South African youth that constrained the apartheid regime in the dark hour of apartheid in South Africa. Thabo Mbeki once said in his famous speech he delivered on behalf of the African National Congress in Cape Town on the 8th May 1996, on the occasion of the passing of the new Constitution of South Africa “I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression”. This refers to all black South Africans with the youth being majority. This has been an excellent and outstanding involvement by the youth and how they contributed in the revolution.
Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela was only nine years old when she had her first conscious experience of what the strictures and injustices of racism and apartheid meant in South Africa, and that is what triggered and gave birth to Winnie Nomzamo who will be forever celebrated by current and the next and the next and the next generations to come. She became a mirror used by young people like Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro, Solomon Mahlangu, Hector Peterson, Vuyisile Mini, Thelle Mogoerane, Marcus Thabo Motaung, David Webster, Jerry Mosololi, Nokuthula Orela Simelane, Hasting Ndlovu and many other young and old South Africans. When mentioning the Sharpeville massacre which occurred on the 21st March 1960 were 5,000 to 7,000 protesters went to the police station protesting against pass laws, we can never not mention South African youth.
When mentioning June 16, 1976 we can never shy away from the fact that, it was the youth that mobilized and faced the apartheid regime against the use of Afrikaans language as a medium of instruction. It was the acts of Black conscious movement and South African Student Organization that triggered and inspired the Soweto uprising. Again when mentioning Black Conscious movement we cannot leave out young Steve Bantu Biko and the entire movement which was formed by the youth as a majority. We cannot leave out young African brothers and sisters who died for the South Africa we know today. Others are hardly recognise in history books, heroes and heroines like: “Tshwane William, Mohapi Mapetla, Mazwembe Luke, Mbatha Dumisani, Mogatusi Fenuel, Mashabane Jaco, Botha George, Tyita James, Salojee Suliman, Gaga Ngeni, Hoye Pongolosha, Amakwayo James, Shonyeka Hangula.
Pin Leong, Cuthsela, Mthayeni, Timol Ahmed, Ndzanga Lawrence, Ntshuntsha, Nanaotha , Malele, Elmon, Mabelane Mathews, Joyi Twasifeni, Malinga Samuel, Khoza Aaron, Mabija Phakamile , Loza Elijah , Haffejee Hoosen , Mzizi Bayempin , Biko Steve , Malaza Sipho” and many others whom lost their lives for the revolution. That’s how powerful the South African youth has been. “Tell my people that I love them and that they must continue the fight, my blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom, Aluta continua.” Last words spoken by Solomon Mahlangu, this also shows the bravery these people have, no matter what comes their way, betraying the struggle was never an option.
This is the youth that fight and stands for what they believe regardless of the implications.
This is the Youth that believed in free education and that free education is possible for black underprivileged students.
This has shown us that future is the youth and youth is the future because whatever the youth puts their hearts into, they achieve it and they are not apologetic about it.
This has shown us the power of solidarity among the South African youth when fighting for injustice in the country.
They cannot keep quiet because they do not have platforms to voice out their concerns, instead they use twitter platforms and shake the entire country using hashtags.
I am talking about the youth that would have handled the gun control issue faced by the US in a blink of an eye.
I am talking about the Youth that stood in the streets of UCT, WITS, UJ, TUT, UKZ and DUT in the midst of teargas and rubber bullets shot by the very same mother and father who gave birth to them and failed to give them education.
I am talking about the youth that called for decolonization and the parliament listened. This also shows that the YOUTH RULES!
I am talking about the youth that started and a political party that sought to represent workers in Marikana, mine workers, domestic workers, petrol attendants, cleaners and waiters.
This is the youth that pushed for thousands of workers to be insourced.
Youth that fights against patriarchy.
Leaders like Bonginkosi Khanyile and Mcebo Dlamini, radicalism, passion, pride and anger on their faces is an accurate representation of South African Youth.
Indeed it is time for South African parliament to consist of Young people because they are the future of this country. It is time for old politicians to take a back seat and stand as advisors of people like Dr. Mbuyiseni, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Hlomela Bucwa, Julius Malema, Floyd Shivhambu, Phumzile Van Damme and Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.