My Say, with Linda Mbuso
For that instant, in that moment, the entire world came to a standstill. The focus was on South Africa, Soweto, on the youth. Parents didn’t know if their children were safe, let alone dead. Once and for all, it was going to be settled, no more Afrikaans as the medium of instruction. June 16 1976 will always resonate the true fighting spirit of the African youth; the belief in doing what you think is right and just. And the apartheid regime, well, they couldn’t do anything about it. Nobody could stand in the way of that.
35 years on and we reap those rewards. Have we done justice to the lives that were laid to rest those years back? Are we living up to the standards our parents imagined for us? Has our generation of youth and those following the class of ‘76 lived up to the freedom we so longed for?
Freedom was handed to us on a silver platter; we didn’t have to do much but be born in the “right” era. The clean air of liberation fills our lungs each and every morning, encouraging us to craft a new path for ourselves. How often do we just stop and think and appreciate all that we have already been given? We aren’t owed anything anymore. An ‘X’ mark on the box at a voting centre shouldn’t be the start and end point of your move towards creating a better life. Everyday should be enough for us to re-assess our moves and re-evaluate the situation we’re in, because honestly in the 21st century, nothing comes for mahala.
All the societal rules and norms and regulations shouldn’t bind your thoughts into a knot; we are far better than that. Class of ‘76 was far better than that. They looked beyond what was being dictated to them as the societal norms. It was a norm to be taught in Afrikaans, by a black teacher, in our black communities. What rubbish is that?! And yet again, we allow society to dictate what the norm is. When will we learn? When we will we choose to be who we are?
We are individuals, who have individual tastes and talents, joys and fears. We help each other. We have mountains of love to share and fountains of passion and drive to offer. We have Ubuntu. The power to assist your neighbour should be engraved in us. That is what makes us South African: our history, our strength and vigour, and the ability we should have to learn from the past mistakes. That is how we should go on forward as young people as the Class of 2011.