Cape Town - Youth Day proved to be a day filled with discussions, music, dance, sports and intergenerational dialogue at the Castle of Good Hope yesterday where young and old gathered to commemorate the youth of 1976 and their stand against the apartheid regime.
Castle Control Board chief executive Calvyn Gilfellan said: “In acknowledging that the challenges of today’s youth are different and even more complex, the Castle will have a programme that will focus on remembrance, history, heritage, and opportunities for the youth.
“The latter is our country’s biggest but most despondent socio-economic demographic cohort.”
Activities enjoyed included mini soccer matches by local communities from the Balls-not-Guns initiative, touch rugby matches by Western Cape Islanders, police youth information sessions, jazz performances by the Cape Town 7 Steps Minstrels, and the second Cape Town launch of late struggle stalwart Ebrahim Ebrahim’s memoirs “Beyond Fear: Reflections of a Freedom Fighter”.
Khalid Sayed, MPL and former leader of the Western Cape ANCYL, moderated the conversation on the book with Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise and the widow of the late Ebrahim Ebrahim, Shannon Ebrahim. Earlier, Modise joined the youth for some dancing and sport.
Balls-Not-Guns founder Gloria Veale said they worked in about 20 communities that were rife with gang violence, to bring a new way of thinking to the youth there.
“… We want to teach our kids a new way by choosing the ball – a symbol of fun, joy, friendship and unity – as opposed to the gun,” Veale said.
Shannon Ebrahim encouraged the children to read her late husband’s memoirs.
“My husband said that the one thing he wanted more than anything was for the younger generation to read his story and know what he, Thandi and others went through for you all to live in a free society,” Ebrahim said.