Nearly five decades ago, the youth of South Africa took to the streets of Soweto in a peaceful protest against the apartheid laws that did not afford them quality education.
Armed with only their voices, their protest was met with teargas and live ammunition by the police, leaving hundreds dead and injured.
As the country commemorates the 46th annual Youth Day, media personality and celebrity publicist Jarred Doyle told IOL Entertainment what the day means to him and how the Youth of ‘76 inspired him as a leader.
Doyle says more needs be done to honour the lives of the many young students whose lives paid for the liberation of this country.
“The sacrifice of the 1976 students created a ripple effect that allowed many persons of colour to pursue their dreams because of the freedom that came as a consequence of their courageous actions,” says the “Hashtags” presenter and producer.
He continued: “I think it’s an important day but as I enter my final year as a ‘youth’ a lot needs to be done to secure our position as a powerful country led by passionate and experienced youth.
“We have minimal opportunities and support. Being an entrepreneur in the entrainment space feels like we are constantly fighting a losing battle. I’m privileged to have an education and a voice but I know many don’t have the same advantages. I don’t know how we are going to change this and it’s an uneasy feeling.”
Doyle says he will be spending the day delivering talks at various youth centres around Eldorado Park.
“We will be giving out self-care packages and delivering some encouragement talks, not motivational.
“I don’t think we understand the impact the last few years have had on people’s mental health and emotional well-being, not to mention finances.
“That being said the youth has access to information at their fingertips and need to be proactive in creating their own opportunities. That’s the only way we will feel empowered and achieve excellence. We need to be patient with ourselves and our environment,” he added.
On how he’s helping the youth, he said: “My talent is negotiation. I have stepped aside from production and TV presenting and I’ve used my business and clients to empower many up-and-coming and talented people in social media and the entertainment industry.
“The talent in our country is outstanding and social media has levelled the playing ground in such a refreshing way. I love being part of the revolution.
“And my message for Youth Day is clear and simple: ‘Don’t give up on your dream. It’s very hard walking the road less travelled but one day it will be worth it’.
“Value your youth. Make the right choices and invest in yourself.”