Our youth busy partying to take Struggle forward

Sam Nzima's photograph of Hector Pieterson after he was shot in 1976 became the worldwide image that defined the June 16 student uprising.
Sam Nzima's photograph of Hector Pieterson after he was shot in 1976 became the worldwide image that defined the June 16 student uprising.

Had it not been for the bravery of the class of the June 16 1976, who took the apartheid bull by the horns, we wouldn't be enjoying the freedom we so cherish today.

Sadly though, it's a shame the youth today do not know their history.

Ask them if they know Hector Pieterson and Tsietsi Mashinini and other heroes of June 16, 1976. Ask them what actually transpired on the day which holds an important place in our history. They are clueless; all they want to know is "siyophuzaphi namhlanje" (where are we drinking today)?

We, as parents, have to shoulder the blame for their ignorance because the best we can do for them is to sponsor their wayward lifestyles of drinking and indolence. It's a big problem for us as a people to turn this day, June 16, into a drinking spree at taverns and parks, in a school uniform nogal. What message are we sending to our kids; encouraging them to get drunk on June 16 and other historical holidays?

Tears were shed, blood was spilled and the smell of gun fire permeated the air in our quest for freedom.

Mashinini and his comrades fought for a meaningful cause and their mission was accomplished. The onus is on today's youth to take the Struggle of these fallen heroes forward and apply their energy to overcome poverty and social ills. The Struggle is not over.

McDivett Khumbulani Tshehla

Halfway House

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