Ntsamai Senoelo is a mentor at the YMM
The youth should commemorate June 16 by embracing the education that was not easily attainable by a black child, writes Ntsamai Senoelo.

June 16 became vague as years advanced into the new millennium and that obscured us as youths from seeing beyond the purpose of this day. History shows that the 1976 youth fought fiercely against the secluded education that did more damage than good.

I believe the youth should commemorate this day by embracing education that was not easily attainable by a black child. English became the medium of instruction to make learning relatively fair.

However, we are not fulfilling the purpose of June 16 as envisaged; we literally insult the legends who made this day possible for us.

What is required of us is to carry forth the spirit of this day.

We are neither asked to fabricate nor rewrite history, yet we fail.

What is required of us is to simply commemorate and honour what transpired on June 16, 1976, educational liberty is not the only achievement that came out of the struggle. The cap of being youth is the most auspicious achievement that youth should be grateful for.

We are referred to as “vibrant youth” because of those who came before us.

It’s a must for us to honour that. The next generation should see the definition of June 16 through us, it is our mission to make the image of June 16 coherent. After all, it’s a day for us to celebrate the defeat of apartheid.

With great power comes great responsibility. After colonial defeat movements to steer the youth in the right direction were rare because people believed they had overcome their objective - defeating the "apart-hate" regime.

It became black people's responsibility to maintain order in the country as a whole. From then, I believe the youth lost direction.

Steve Bantu Biko said “the most potent weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”.

Today we are free, we are not the oppressed we are the potent liberals and the credit goes to the people who made history on June 16.

From Youth Day emerged YMM, the mascot of mental liberation that seeks to instil wisdom and knowledge in young men. That doesn’t gallop into changing all young men at the same time but one boy child at a time. We might as well consider YMM as a token of gratitude to the 1976 youth.

One might ask: why young men?

Well, if men are of good morals, their conduct will rub off on women.

* Ntsamai Senoelo is a mentor at the YMM and a resident of Pankop, Dr JS Moroka Municipality.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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