Youth Day! What exactly are we celebrating?

A number of autocratic systems in Africa and beyond were eliminated by youthful generation, through their arsenal of energy and political ambitions. The fall of Apartheid System was conquered by the youth of 1976. The task of the 1976 youth was to fight against a barbaric and oppressive system; which infringed natural rights of black people in South Africa. The system enacted more than 1000 pieces of legislation which prevented blacks from doing business, accessing quality education, access to land, right to vote, freedom of movement, and forceful use of Afrikaans as a medium language (1948). The 1976 Generation knew who was their enemy. They knew that in order for them to conquer they needed to unite. There’s an old adage that says; United we stand, dividend we fall. The 1976 Generation understood the essence of unity hence they opted to come together firstly before confronting their enemy.

Who is the enemy of the Next Generation? What is the task of the Next Generation? Those are urgent questions we should attend to as the youth of today. On the 2nd of October 1920, during the All-Russia Congress of the Russian Young Communist League, Vladimir Lenin shared the fundamental task of the youth league. Lenin summed the task of the youth into a single word; Learn! Learn! Learn! What is to be learned from the youth of 1976?

The youth of 1976 was courageous, militant, radical, innovative, and a united front. They knew who their enemy was. The youth of today must redefine its task, describe a basic dimension of all the socio-economic problems, learn and experiment what they have learnt pragmatically. We are living in an Information Age; acquiring knowledge and new skills should be at the center of our struggle. The 1976 Generation were forced by circumstances to ban tires and destroy properties in order for the apartheid Architecture’s to hear them. The youth of today has sundry of fundamental tools at their disposal ; to vote right, confront those that are looting state resources through peaceful protest, to take charge and ensure that in each and every ward they elect young people (who are double conscious) to champion the interest of young people and become the advocacy’s for transformation.

The dangers that threatens our democracy is not leadership deficits but a corrupt and untransformed system. Democracy is threatened when young people are not at the forefront of the struggle for liberation. True liberation does not come in a form of a gift from anyone; it must be seized by the youth with their own hands. The task lying ahead is to emancipate our people from socio-economic shackles. It is the youth of today that must resolve on whether to pursue its mission or to abandon it. Conversely, to pursue that mission we need a generation that is prepared to sacrifice its time and lives. We need a generation that is not scared to death when it comes to confronting the enemy. A generation that is not bought off with money. A youth that is conversant with the ABC Dialectical Materialism. We need young people that are strongly bent to transform the country for better.

A youth that is unaware of its conditions, it’s natural obligation, it’s task, and it’s struggle, tend to be something other than what they are meant to be. They are a danger to the revolution. The celebration therefore must be used as an opportune to reflect and check whether the path in which we find ourselves in; is the right path or wrong path. To reflect on whether we are getting nearer or we are still far from emancipating our people. The youth must invest its energy well and channel its energy towards programs intended for developing the country and Africa in general.

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