Youth Day in South Africa is celebrated annually on 16 June. The day is set aside to commemorate the courageous youth in Soweto, who in 1976 under apartheid government, protested against black school children being taught in Afrikaans and English.

About 20 000 students participated in the march to Orlando Stadium which ended in bloodshed, followed by weeks of riots and fatalities. This resulted in international pressure on SA’s government to change its educational policies.

Youth Day now serves as a reminder of the progress SA has made with respect to equality for youth, as well as the importance they play as agents of positive change and hope for the future.

This year’s Youth Month takes place during heightened celebrations of the centenary year of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. 42 years later and Youth Day has been dubbed ‘a day of contrasts”, on one hand, we remember and commemorate the courage of our fallen heroes and on the other, we celebrate the bright minds of the future.

Here are some events taking place around the country:

Johannesburg: 

Joburg Theatre 

Committed Artists Theatricals in Association with the Joburg City Theatres, will be re-staging the Broadway renowned Award Winning Production of SARAFINA Directed by Dr. Mbongeni Ngema, the show will be staged during Youth month to inspire and encourage young people while celebrating the centenary of South Africa finest humanitarians –the late Statesman Nelson Mandela.

National Youth Day celebrations:

The Department of Arts and Culture, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Presidency will host Youth Day celebrations in Soweto.

The President will join in the remembrance walk from Moris Isaacson to the Orlando Stadium.

When: 16 June 2018.

Where: Orlando Stadium, Soweto

Cost: Free entry.

The Winter Night Market

Bring the family along to enjoy Youth Day together at this winter market.

During summer, Sylvia’s Market is normally on Sundays, but this year they are hosting their first Saturday market in Observatory, filled with food, home-made craft, live music and tasty jam jar cocktails.

When: 16 June 2018, 17:00 – 21:00.

Where: 59 Frederick Street, Observatory.

Cost: Free entry.

Cape Town:

Ekasi Outdoor Cinema screening: Sarafina!

Ekasi Outdoor Cinema presents a screening of Sarafina! – the story on the history of Youth Day, about the Soweto Riots in opposition of Afrikaans as the language to be used in schools.

This mobile cinema screens films in township, showing inspiring African films for kids and youth.

When: 16 June 2018, from 13:00 – 16:00.

Where: Khayelitsha.

Cost: Free entry.

Durban:

Ntenga Foundation Charity Run/Walk

The Ntenga Foundation Charity Run/Walk is a unique charity mass participation events in KwaZulu-Natal, fusing music and athletic events.

Nearly 6 000 social runners will participate in this year’s race – either a 5km or 10km run/walk. Funds raised will go towards buying school shoes for underprivileged children.

When: 16 June 2018, from 07:00 – 09:00

Where: Race starts at Moses Mabhida Stadium and ends at uShaka Marine World

Cost: R120 (5km), R120 (10km), R20 (Temp License). Includes free entry to uShaka Wet ‘n Wild when you enter.

Vuma 103 Family Day Concert

Vuma 103 presents a family-friendly food and music event featuring some of SA’s top acts to thrill audiences. It promises to keep the whole family enthralled.

The line-up of artists includes Gospel Icon Discovery winners, Dr Tumi, Khaya Mthetwa, Dumi Mkokstad and Karabo.

There will also be a secured area to keep children (2 to 16 years of age) entertained while parents enjoy the concert.

When: 16 June 2018, from 12:00 – 18:00

Where: People’s Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Cost: R200 per person. Book at Computicket. Children under 12 are free. Cooler boxes cost R80 on the day (no glass permitted).

I will be attending an event organised by Visual Art Network South Africa (VANSA). The event is hosted by emerging visual artists. With so much to do, you should really be out there commemorating the youth and #Livethelegacy!