YOUTH needs to change

"THE youth of today should not feel inferior to the youth involved in the struggle because the struggle was necessary," says Fanyana Mazibuko.

"THE youth of today should not feel inferior to the youth involved in the struggle because the struggle was necessary," says Fanyana Mazibuko.

Mazibuko, 66, was the first teacher approached by Tsietsi Mashinini before he spoke to the students to persuade them to march against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Mazibuko was a maths and science teacher at Morris Isaacson High School.

He is now the co-founder and executive director of the Trust for Educational Advancement in South Africa.

Mazibuko was an activist in his youth and also witnessed the youth of 1976 revolutionising the country, but now believes the politics should change.

"We must not romanticise the struggle because it was painful, people died and some are still missing.

"We can talk about it to motivate the youth and for people to appreciate that people suffered for our democracy," he said.

He said that the youth should focus on education and being economically viable.

"Young people should prepare to run the country efficiently and they need to be brave and start businesses."

Mazibuko said the standard of education in the country was "not at its best".

"We are not getting what we are supposed to get out of our education. Education is about making a living but when giving education we have to consider the time and place," he said.

He said the government should build enough schools and ensure that they are well equipped.

Mazibuko believes that there is still room for young people to participate in politics.

"The country is run by politics. Young people should stop their attitude of not being involved in politics because they are now different," he said.

He, like many others, agrees that June 16 should not be celebrated but commemorated.

"We ought to commemorate the day. Put it out there and reflect on what happened out of respect for those who died and pave the way forward.

"How are we respecting them by getting drunk?" he asked.

Mazibuko said that the country's moral code was collapsing.

"Because everyone towed our moral code we are trying to find one everywhere," he said.

Mazibuko said that it was the responsibility of everyone to empower themselves because they cannot blame apartheid for ever.

He said that young people should protect and promote democracy.

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