Unless we’re retired or nearing retirement, it’s easy for us to fail to have an emotional connection to the Soweto Uprising of 1976. It’s the reason that led to today becoming the public holiday called Youth Day.
I’m encouraging us to remember the darkness that once covered South Africa so that we do our best to work towards a brighter future.
“The Soweto Uprising was a series of protests led by high school students in South Africa that began on the morning of 16 June 1976.
Students from numerous Sowetan schools began to protest in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools. It is estimated that 20,000 students took part in the protests. They were met with fierce police brutality. The number of protesters killed by police is usually given as 176, but estimates of up to 700 have been made. In remembrance of these events, the 16th of June is now a public holiday in South Africa, named Youth Day.” – source Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, we seem not to have been learned from our violent past.
As Xhosa and black people had Afrikaans shoved down their proverbial throats, now Afrikaners are having their language forcibly extracted from their culture.
We need to put ourselves into the other person’s shoes and ask ourselves what we want. Until we try understand those who aren’t us, we can never be a community or understand that what affects one affects all.
The second major lesson is that the police must never be allowed to become criminals, committing crime with impunity. Unfortunately, the Marikana Massacre is clear evidence of that lesson failed.
The biggest wake-up call should’ve been that government must never rule the People, that it must be held in check as a servant to the People. Unfortunately, the corrupt National Party was replaced by a corrupt African National Congress. Our situation has worsened in that the main opposition parties, the Economic Freedom Fights and the Democratic Alliance, don’t follow the rules and dignity they profess to pursue.
We need to remember, cry for and fear the Soweto Uprising of 1976 so that learn from our past, not repeat it.
Unless us citizens realise that we’re the most important part of government, making politics a regular part of our active lives so that the politicians are reminded of their employee status, we will only trip down the stairs of our mistakes and lessons not learned…