It is with no surprise that we find a growing youth bulge, incredibly phenomenal rates of unemployment, poverty widening gaps in inequality, challenges with education, electricity and labour disputes that are spiralling dismally out of control.
The reality of our situation is not statistical or academic; it is based on the insatiable greed of colonialists who continue to mutilate the African continent and condemn it, through ungodly indebtedness that the continent, regardless of its mineral wealth, continues to pay at the expense of ravenous consumerism.
The ’76 generation rebelled against colonial imposition and paved the way for a democratic society. Youth Month is an opportunity for young people to reflect on the historical significance of the 1976 generation’s urgency for advancement towards alleviating the gross inequalities that consumed their attention, time and potential. It is a clarion call for the current generation to account for the years of progress and development stolen during the colonial era and post colonialism, and ensure that needs of young people are at the forefront of the agenda of national prosperity.
The message of the ’76 generation is a reminder both to us and those to come to remain true and virtuous to the African people and African child in particular.
Their message continues to demonstrate to us that there can never be an embargo on the future and the containment of the vision of youth for the future they want. Our former President Nelson Mandela (tata Madiba) did not see the cul-de-sac of oppression nor imprisonment but remained vigilant to the commitment to political freedom.
Our task is never to betray the youth of the nation, both those who have access to opportunities, and especially those who remain on the periphery, for there is no one who is born free.
– By Magdalene Moonsamy: Former National Executive Committee Member ANCYL 2004 -2013