Youth Day traditionally sees South Africans celebrating at festivals and various events across the country. 16 June commemorates the day in 1976, when school pupils were killed by apartheid police during a protest against Bantu Education. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - Youth Day traditionally sees South Africans celebrating at festivals and various events across the country.
16 June commemorates the day in 1976 when school pupils were killed by apartheid police during a protest against Bantu Education.
This year, there is a big difference, because of the lockdown.
The iconic Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto, which is normally bustling on Youth Day, however, this year, it was deserted.
Restaurants along this road are closed due to the lockdown but one business has decided it can still commemorate the day.
The Box Shop has hosted a livestream virtual event to entertain and motivate the youth.
At the same time, young boys skateboarded along the route taken by children during the 1976 march.
At the Hector Pieterson memorial, some South Africans came to lay wreaths and light candles.
One of them, was One SA movement leader, Mmusi Maimane.
He says his court battle against the reopening of schools is about the youth of today.
“Today the struggle still remains. Some schools are safe for learners to return to in the time of COVID and others are not. And our argument is that all schools must be safe. Let’s us ensure that we provide PPEs and everyone can be transported safely," Maimane said.
"The choice for poor people should not be getting an education and get COVID or stay home not get an education”.
The youths of 1976 were willing to give their lives for freedom and on this day, their contemporary counterparts are being reminded to keep the memories of those who died alive, by always trying their best.