The Durban University of Technology (DUT) communications team Nomvelo Zulu spoke to DUT students about what June 16 means to them and what will they be doing on this day.
Sihle Nkosi, Internal Auditing first year student at DUT.
“June 16 is the day of honoring or commemorating the high school students who led a protest in response to the
Afrikaans language being used in local schools. It all happened on 16 June 1976 and its also called the Soweto uprising, so I will be busy helping grade 12 students apply to any institution of their own choice on 16 June 2022. This will enhance the level of educated people in our beloved country as all the sacrifices incurred that day were to help students not to struggle academically and be able to use a convenient language in local schools”.
Sbongukwazi Msezane, Advanced Diploma in Financial Accounting student at DUT.
“To me this day is set as a reminder of the progress our country has made regarding equality and opportunity for all
youth and to honor the youth who lost their lives during the Soweto Uprising, which is now a National Holiday in
South Africa. Additionally, the students brave efforts which resulted in international pressure and sanctions against the South African government to modify its educational policies. On 16 June 2022, I will be attending a political lecturer that will be hosted by our Ward counsellor. Apart from attending the political lecturer on the day, I plan to spend Youth Day distributing food parcels and playing games with children from an orphanage near my home”.
Thabiso Ngubane Human Resources Management first year student at DUT.
“Youth day means honoring all the heroes like Hector Peterson who fought against the use of Afrikaans as the medium
of instructions in schools. June 16 also means celebrating Youth Day by commemorating and honoring those high school students who spoke out and took action against the oppressive Apartheid system. We also use the day to honor the lives that were lost in the face of brutalist political systems and all forms of oppression. Youth Day is a very important day that is used by schools, colleges, and university students in South Africa to hold discussions on educational issues. On June 16 2022, I will be playing soccer because in my community we usually have soccer tournaments that brings youth together”.
Lethukuthula Manyoni Diploma in Taxation first year at DUT.
“Well to me Youth Day is more than celebrating our heroes, it is about the youth of today coming together and
continue fighting for what our heroes and heroines started. There are so many issues that young people are dealing with and I think this day is just about discussing all of those issues. To me it will just be a normal day, I won’t be doing much on this day since I have to study for the upcoming tests. After studying I’ll watch Sarafina because I always watch it on that day, just to remind myself of what Hector Peterson and the other students went through in order for us to celebrate the freedom we have today. Watching Sarafina also pushes me to continue try and fight for our black youngsters”.
Nothando Mathula, Library and Information second year at DUT.
“Having freedom is what I associate with Youth Day. We have been given the chance by those who fought for us to
conquer the freedom to be anything we want and the power to change the world into a better place for future generations. On 16 June 2022, I will be playing netball in my community’s sport field, numerous tournaments will be held in honor of the heroes and heroines that took part in the Soweto Uprising”.
Nontando Zulu, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at DUT.
“To me, Youth Day means that there are young people who once united to fight the injustices of our country. It also reminds me of the power we have as young people to change circumstances that we find
ourselves in. It makes me reflect and think about what am I contributing to my community, country, and the world at
large. It also serves as a motivation to keep chasing my dreams and impacting the lives of those around me. Lastly, as we commemorate Youth Day we should remember those lives that were shattered in order for us to receive the freedom that we have. But we as youth are in a constant struggle, right now we are fighting things like unemployment, depression and anxiety. We should continue carrying a baton forward to the next generation”.
Sihle Langa, third year Business Administration student at DUT.
“On June 16 each year, South Africans celebrate Youth Day. Youth day commemorates the Soweto Uprising, which
took place on 16 June 1976, where thousands of high school students were ambushed by apartheid regime. On Youth
Day, South Africans pay tribute to the lives of these students and recognise the role of youth in liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime. June 16 means to unite as young people. So, on this day I will visit my former high school to help grade 12 learners to apply to varsities of their choice using my own laptop and data”.