When South Africans talk about June 16, the first thing that comes to young people’s minds is a “Public Holiday” and possibly, “Hector Peterson.” However, this is a significant day in the history of South Africa, marred with agony, bloodshed, and resilience by young people fighting for a better and inclusive education as well as revolting against systematic oppression.
The Youth of 1976 donned their uniform, gathered themselves, and put their lives on the line for South Africa and future generations. They carried the baton to freedom, a legacy that rests on the current youth.
This year, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) radio station, UJFM 95.4, will pledge its commitment to living and extending the legacy of the youth of 1976. The campus radio station, in partnership with AFHCO Student Living, UJ Sport and Chuana Talks, will launch the Movers Mentorship Programme to commemorate the events and purpose of the June, 16 Soweto Uprising.
The Movers Mentorship Programme will enhance the support and development of young people in education institutions and communities. This programme will address topics such as social, financial and mental wellbeing as well as academic endeavors. The initiative will encourage young people to invest time and resources in education and empowering themselves outside of the classroom.
South Africa’s poor young people living in rural areas and townships continue to bear the brunt of a stagnating economy and marginalisation in the mainstream sectors. To transform this, young people have the responsibility to change the narrative and start making the change they want among themselves and their communities.
Chuana Original, the facilitator of the event, is a South African leadership and arts development company founded in 2013 by Naledi Shuenyane. The Chuana Original brand prides itself on being an advocate for Pan Africanism and a catalyst for the development of youth consciousness. Using arts education, leadership and development initiatives to empower the youth creating a safe space for them to develop their self-esteem and sense of purpose.
Also forming part of the speakers will be the UJ Rowing Manager and Coach, Sizwe Ndlovu. Ndlovu was recently appointed as one of the members of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) Athletes Commission for the next four-year cycle, (2021-2024). He is a renowned South African rower who won a gold medal in the Men’s lightweight coxless four event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was South Africa’s first ever Olympic gold medal for rowing. The rest of the team that won gold with Ndlovu were James Thompson, John Smith and Matthew Brittain.
Ayanda Mnyakeni will the keynote speaker of the day, and will set the tone with a talk focusing on economic emancipation through education. Ayanda is the Administrative Business Partner for Google Sub-Saharan Africa. She has been with Google for three years, managing three offices on the continent. She has worked for brands such as Sun International, Multichoice, Ndalo Media and the JSE.
She will be joined by Bolele Polisa, who is a UJFM presenter and an advocate of youth development, as well as a self-driven and powered ambassador of youth. The event will take place on Wednesday, 16 June 2021, between 11am and 13:00, at Living @ Mpumelelo (AFHCO Student Living). The dress code is school uniform.
Due to COVD-19 regulations, limited seats are available, please register your interest on the AFHCO website, click here: https://student.afhco.co.za/resources. Registrations for this event close by 4pm on Monday, 14 June 2021.