Looking for Youth Day’s meaning in Covid’s shadow

Youth Day 2021 is commemorated at a time when the world is battling a deadly pandemic. TARA ISAACS spoke to some young people about how they view the day.

Hassim Klink, 28, seen with his daughter Adaya,3, said: “Community leaders and municipal politicians should be more active and involve the youth, not only on Youth Day but every day or as often as possible. Money should not even be the issue. We have a beautiful beach where they can be taken to and play ball games and hold races or just be taken out of their homes and off the street corners.”
Liam Ulrich, 17, from Brooklyn said: “Youth Day is very special and important. It should be celebrated with many young people across the country and can be done by following the Covid-19 protocols, but it would be hard to celebrate in my community because of gangsterism and the young people already roped in with the wrong crowds.”
Zihle Cokile, 20, from Summer Greens said: “Young people in my community seem to be lost because there are no recreational facilities for them, where they can get together and not be influenced by the bad stuff on the internet and streets. Other communities will host events at their community halls or parks, but in mine they will just celebrate it as another holiday to be partying or chill with friends.”
Songezo Jayiya, 20, from Milnerton said: “Youth Day is a day to celebrate because we are the future, but many will be celebrating by offering food parcels to the underprivileged youth. But they should understand that it is more than just giving a child food and sending them back into their surroundings. Instead inspire them to do better and work hard to make a better life for themselves.”