'English recolonises youth'

This year's commemoration of Youth Day was carefully planned compared to those in previous years where expensive rallies, peppered with useless speeches from political parties and politicians were used to lure youth into politics.

This year's commemoration of Youth Day was carefully planned compared to those in previous years where expensive rallies, peppered with useless speeches from political parties and politicians were used to lure youth into politics.

This resulted in youth getting drunk without understanding the meaning and significance of the day.

This year's message was clear: to instil the value and importance of this fateful day to the "lost generation" who are easily swayed by fashion.

Youth Day was started by great minds of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) through the leadership of heroes like Bantubonke Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro, Tsietsi Mashinini and many unnamed heroes and heroines.

The BCM's motive was to instil pride in black people who had lost it through colonisation by the apartheid regime.

The movement wanted to exorcise the inferiority complex that was instilled in our people by the colonisers.

Language, a criterion of identity, was used to distort black people's identity.

Thus the youth of 1976 resisted this identity distorting strategy as they were aware of their identity as black people.

As the youth of 1976 fought againstthe imposition of Afrikaans, today's youth is proud to recolonise themselves through the adoption of another foreign language: English.

Phillimon Mnisi, Wits University

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