The Youth Day public holiday commemorates the Soweto youth uprising on 16 June 1976.
In 1975, students in African schools started to protest after a directive from the then Bantu education department decided that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools.
The word Bantu in Bantu education has derogatory connotations and is highly charged. Students in Soweto decided they would not be forced to be taught in Afrikaans, “the language of the oppressors”.
The uprising began in Soweto and soon spread countrywide. On the morning of 16 June, 1976, political activist Tsietsi Mashinini led 3 000 to 10 000 students on a peaceful protest march against the government’s language directive.
During the protest, the students were met with fierce police brutality and hundreds of students were shot and killed.
Visit the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum
Hector Pieterson was the boy in the famous and powerful photograph taken by Sam Nzima who was shot and killed by police during the uprising.
At the museum you will be able to see photographs, testimonies and footage from the protests. Take a walk from the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum to the Mandela House on Vilakazi street.
Free Youth Day concert from the comfort of your home
Tune in on Wednesday, 16 June at 9am, listen to up-and-coming artists recite poetry and sing along at the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument.
Catch Nosipho H, Bianca Goosen, RJay and LKay on the livestream concert on Facebook.
Livestream will be made available via Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Learn to dance
Swap your office attire for dance slacks this Youth Day, from 10am to 3.30pm.
M&M Music and Performing Arts Academy’s award-winning hip hop teachers will lead a hip hop dance class, graffiti dance sketch and a breaking and locking class for kids.
Tickets are R400 per person from webtickets.co.za.
Visit the Iziko Museum for free
The museums have a number of fascinating exhibitions, such as early Sapiens behaviour at the South Africa Museum.
Don’t miss the ocean and picturesque landscape paintings at the South African National Gallery, at the V&A Waterfront and Bo Kaap.