The youth of Langa came out to celebrate their culture, customs and to remember the history of June 16 at a Youth Day event at the Langa Cultural Precinct in King Langalibalele Drive over the weekend.
Hosted by the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Department, the event was a mix of song, dance and entertainment which also gave the young people an opportunity to debate issues that are important to them.
Queen Mhayi of the African Dance Theatre said it was good that young people were exposed to all sorts of arts.
“June 16 is a very important day to this country. But if you have been looking at it, it was slowly fading away. We are grateful when days like these are revived and celebrated. We are learning a lot from each other and we are exchanging cultures,” she said.
The event also featured a social dialogue forum, focusing on issues that affect young people and the possible solutions to those challenges.
Ms Mhayi said if young people can be brought together like the day they were on, a lot of them will be off the streets. Also at the event were Mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, and members of the Junior City Council.
Mr Plato called on young people to be part the City’s efforts to develop them.
“Youth are the lifeblood of the city, but they still face many socio-economic issues that hamper their development and keep them in a vulnerable group in our society.
“The City, along with other spheres of government, has a number of programmes in place to advance youth development and help overcome the challenges such as unemployment, violence, crime and substance abuse. But young people need to be a part of the process, otherwise, we will not make meaningful gains,” said Mr Plato.
He said the City introduced its Transversal Youth Development Strategy in 2015, to improve the co-ordination of youth programmes across a number of departments.
Dr Badroodien added that while Youth Month put the spotlight on the many challenges that existed, it also celebrated youth excellence, because there were so many young people
out there who were making a difference.