Under the theme “working together for youth development and a drug free South Africa,” some of the youth in Madadeni Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal took to the courts to celebrate June 16 the only way they know how. The youth were excited to finally host the Youth Day and the many visitors from government, entertainment and other provinces into their hometown. “It is a privilege that June 16 is being celebrated in Newcastle for a change because we always see it being celebrated in the major cities of Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. It is nice that it came to the rural areas,” says John one of the young people of the area. As much as the Phelandaba Sports ground where President Jacob Zuma was delivering the keynote address was a hub of excitement, adjacent to the playgrounds boys and girls particpated inbasketball, volleyball and netball tournaments. Thula,one of the basketball players says, “We are celebrating Youth Day by doing something we love and that helps us focus and develop which is our favourite sports. We feel it’s the better option than the life of drugs and too many parties.” However, the young people feel that Youth Day should be continuous and reach even the youth living on the outskirts. Anotheryouth, Mandla says,“We hope that youth day will not just be a commercialized day, but something in which government and the whole of South Africa to sit up and take notice of what the youth really needs.”

– By Busisiwe Radebe