Custodians of the future

Youth Day commemorates the sacrifices made by South African youth in 1976 – they fought for an end to apartheid as well as better education for all. Join us on 16 June 2022 for a public holiday filled with special youth-focused activations.

Take action
Young human rights defenders will take to the Amphitheatre stage between 10am and 12pm on Youth Day. Organised by The Justice Desk (TJD), an award-winning human rights organisation, a youth conference will see the announcement of young ambassadors chosen to advance TJD’s activities in their schools and communities. Called the Activ8, these youngsters – aged between 15 and 17 years – will have the opportunity to make their voices heard and publicly commit to making lasting change. Expect debates around gender-based violence, corporal punishment, tampon tax, and human trafficking. Listen in and you, too, will gain the tools you need to strive for positive societal change.

Shoot, score!
Also kicking off at 10am and lasting throughout the day is the 3×3 Action Ball Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Battery Park, 19 Dock Road. It will be hosted by Conquerors Wheelchair Basketball Club, which operates on the values of respect, integrity and gratitude.

The club, which was founded by Lloyd Lingeveldt in 2018, strives to offer wheelchair-bound individuals the opportunity to take part in sport. Over a four-year period, this casual activity has evolved into an adaptive league sport for both the differently abled and the able-bodied, provided they take part in a basketball wheelchair. Watch the experts in action on Youth Day, when the Wheelchair National Team – with whom the Conquerors is affiliated – will compete under the banner of Reach For A Dream to fulfil the wishes of young people with terminal cancer.

How you wore it
Look out for the hotly anticipated Grade Collaboration by Zaid Osman, founder of Sneaker Exchange, together with UCT Online. MC and host Uncle Vinny will introduce artists Nadia Jaftha, Youngstacpt, Shekinah, Priddy Prince, DJ set and Dee Koala, under the banner of streetwear and movement brand Grade Africa.

The vision behind this vibrant entertainment form, which shows youth culture at its finest, is to take Grade Africa to the world while telling an authentic African street story. Don’t miss it between 12pm and 4pm at Battery Park.

Postcards from the edge
Another unmissable event is the heartfelt Postcards to Parliament project, on at the Amphitheatre from 12:30pm to 2pm. Initiated by the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation, school learners will perform poetry readings, songs, drama skits and dance moves in small groups to shine a light on the gender-based violence pandemic. In 2021, the Postcards to Parliament team spoke in Parliament on behalf of 12 000 young people and a similar event is planned later in 2022. Listen in here.

Marching band
Set up in 1997 by Liz Brouckaert and David Wickham, the Steelband Project provides quality music education to young people – especially ‘at risk’ youth from under-resourced communities. On Youth Day, make your way to the Pierhead Deck between 11am and 2pm, when the project’s Riebeeck Kasteel Steelband will perform much-loved “brass band” favourites to audiences and passersby alike. Don’t miss the pomp and circumstances! Good to note is that the project is active not only in the Cape Town CBD, but also throughout the Western Cape’s suburban, township and rural areas. Other musical activities include popular buskers performing their hearts out in a range of high-footfall zones, which management describe as “the heart and soul of our property”; the vibrant notes of the Ilitha Lelanga Marimba Ensemble, from 2:30pm to 3:30pm in the Amphitheatre; and an exciting performance by 4 IAM presenting its new genre T-Pop, taking place between 4 and 5:30pm. Watch the latter in action on the Expresso Show here.

As the V&A Waterfront shows up for the young people of South Africa on 16 June, we’re reminded of the words of the late, great Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: “The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.”