Miss South Africa Top 10 celebrate Youth Day by attending art class with learners

Here they explain what June 16 means to them

By CityLife Arts Writer


The Miss South Africa 2022 Top 10 finalists are  making their first official appearance today (June 16, 2022) in celebration of Youth Day.
 
They will be doing an art class with children from the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary in Westbury, Johannesburg.
 
The 10 explain what June 16 means to them:
 
Anarzade Omar – Crown Gardens, Johannesburg, Gauteng
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it?
For me Youth Day means a day where thousands of South Africans took to the streets of Soweto to protest their pain and unfair treatment. It is important to commemorate this day as a reminder of all the sacrifices and battles our previous generation had to endure for us to be here today. It allows us to also never forget to channel the same bravery and continue fighting and paving the way for future generations. 
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
Being able to be in the presence of our younger generation reminds me of how much I need to keep working hard and fighting for a better future, because it will allow them to grow into a brighter future filled with opportunities. I am reminded of how much of the future is in our own hands. 
 
Ayanda Thabethe – Taylor’s Halt, Maritzburg, KZN
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it?
The normal textbook answer would be  that Youth  Day commemorates the Soweto youth uprising of 16 June 1976. In a very short history lesson, back in 1976 protests started in African schools after a directive from the then Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. How shocking is it to think that this was a reality? And if we really think about it, 1976 was not too long ago. Which is why I always say that for me Youth Day is a day to celebrate progress – essentially how far we have come along as a people: Our understanding of discrimination, consequences put into place in an attempt to lessen discriminatory acts, and fully embracing our rainbow nation. Am I aware that the youth take the forefront on this day? Yes, 100 percent. But I also know that this day is also a learning tool for children and marks how far we have come along so that history never repeats itself.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
Interacting with these young people is going to be incredible and I am sure I will learn more from them than they will from me. All I’ve ever wanted to do is to serve our people. And let me tell you this: Money is not the only commodity that is fun to give. We can give time, we can give our expertise, we can give our love, or simply give a smile. What does that cost? The point is none of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give. We can and should all play our part. I feel extremely grateful and privileged to be able to take part.
 
Itumeleng Parage – Central Western Jabavu, Soweto , Gauteng
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it?
To me it reminds me of the legacy we now have in our hands. A legacy of relentlessly fighting for what you believe is right and making sure that no one violates your rights and gets away with it. We should commemorate, not only because it is a national holiday. but also because it is important as we move forward to always look back to see how far we’ve come as a nation.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
I love children and as a Sunday School teacher, I always learn so much from them. They have such wonderful perceptions about the world. Spending this day with them is going to be truly special. They are the future of the nation.
 
Keaoleboga Nkashe – Itsoseng ,Ngaka Modiri Molema district, North West
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it?
Youth Day is important to me because I am reminded and grateful to the youth who in 1976 sacrificed their lives for us to have a better education. I am also reminded of the youth who I’ve been privileged to grow up with, including those who took a stand during the fees must fall protests and brave young people like Zuleika Patel who stood up as a grade 8 student and took a stand for schooling policies that were not inclusive . Both of these acts started worldwide movements and conversations that have changed the way institutions are run. 
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
As someone who is extremely passionate about everything that is art, I’m so excited for this. I know how much fun and freeing painting is so I can’t wait. What it means to me is that I get, in that moment, to encourage the young people to try something new! Even if they are not artists, to try because you never know when that little spark of passion can ignite . 
 
Lebogang Mahlangu – Soshanguve, Tshwane, Gauteng
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it? 
Youth Day represents an opportunity to remember young people’s power to drive change in our country. I firmly believe young people are the ones with solutions to all social ills in our country. The celebration of this day should help encourage young people to embrace their power and help build the future.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
Meeting mentors and thought leaders in my own life has helped push me further toward my potential. I hope the young people from Westbury realise that Miss South Africa is someone who is just like them, and this makes them know that they can also be anything they set their mind to.
 
Luve Meyer – Brackenfell, Cape Town, Western Province
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it? 
Growing up with both my parents being teachers, I have seen how important education is to empower our youth for a better future. Youth Day reminds me that the tragic events of 16 June 1976 should never be repeated as all children have the right to be seen, heard and validated. In the same breath it inspires me to keep working towards a better future for them and our country.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
The youth of today are our future leaders. The decisions we make today by impacting their lives in a positive way, will have a ripple effect into eternity. Youth Day should always remind and inspire us to strive towards creating more equal rights and opportunities for all the children of our country.
 
Luyanda Zuma – Bisley, Maritzburg, KZN
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it? 
I get asked a lot about how I feel about being the youngest in the competition, and I honestly feel extremely highly grateful, taking it back to January of 1954 when Bantu education came into being and as the years progressed, it didn’t get better until our youth took a stand got up and fought back. The Soweto uprising gave us great leader to always remember and who we’ll forever be grateful for. To me it strongly amplifies courage, boldness and being unapologetic about who you are and we celebrate this in every way.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
On June 16 we want to pay tribute to the lives we lost back in 1976 and what better way to commemorate their sacrifice than with youngsters who, I believe, are also going to go on and make a difference.
 
Ndavi Nokeri – Premier Park, Tzaneen, Limpopo
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it? 
Youth Day is a significant day of celebrating the bravery of the youngsters of 1976.  They set a great example for us by demonstrating an understanding of the importance of their education. This day really challenges us to continue investing in our youth and ensuring that they are equipped with everything that they need for them to become well-rounded leaders. Being surrounded by bright-minded youngsters today and seeing their potential really makes me excited for the future of our country. There is no better way to celebrate youth day than by playing your part and empowering our youth by affirming them, exposing them to opportunities and providing them with useful resources. 
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
I am delighted that I will be able to give back on this very important day.
 
Pearl Ntshehi – Centurion, Pretoria, Gauteng
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it? 
As corny as it sounds, I’m a firm believer that education is the key to success, that knowledge is truly power. The most important weapon on earth is information; like Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. This weapon was given to me by the youth of 1976. The Soweto Uprising for me, as part of  the youth in 2022 ,marks the day in which education was afforded to me and afforded to me in my preferred language.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
Art is such a great way to bond with an individual, this is a great opportunity to get immersed in their day to day life, get to know them and in a sense I will be help them re-imagine our country through art 
 
Tamsyn Jack – Somerset West, Western Province
What does Youth Day mean to you and why do you believe it is important that we commemorate it?
Youth Day is a day where we celebrate tomorrow’s leaders, trail-blazers and game-changers. Youth day commemorates a day where thousands of courageous students stood together to march against oppressive apartheid education policies. It’s a day where we can look back at our past and reflect on how far we have come, but also look to the future to see how far we have yet to go. The message of Youth Day is that our young people’s voices matter. You are never too young to lead the way in making a meaningful contribution to society.
What does it mean to you to spend the day with learners at the Malapa Motsetse Foundation Primary School NGO, Dowling Primary?
I’m truly honoured! It’s a surreal moment for me because I distinctly remember how I would look up to the Miss South Africa finalists and feel inspired by them. Today I am here and I understand my responsibility. I hope that I will be able to connect with even just one child and that I can inspire him or her to move through life, knowing that they are special, chosen, set-apart, worthy and capable of accomplishing anything that they set their minds to. 
 
Philanthropist Tim Nash set up the Malapa Motsetse Foundation to help improve STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) subjects for children who would otherwise have no access to them. The Malapa Motsetse Foundation supports the Westbury project that feeds and educates 350 primary school children from Monday to Friday and supports 11 primary schools in the area.
 
The Miss South Africa pageant is back in Gauteng this year with the 2022 winner set to be crowned at Sun International’s flagship venue, the SunBet Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. It promises to be a spectacular and entertainment-packed show and will fittingly take place during Women’s Month, on Saturday, August 13.

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