This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. On this day in 1976, high school students in Soweto lead mass protests against the apartheid government’s introduction of Afrikaans as the compulsory medium of instruction in the education system. The uprising is one of the country’s bloodiest – as police on the day fired shots at the protesting youth – sparked nationwide protests and ultimately increased international awareness of the oppressive apartheid system on black people.
To commemorate the Soweto Uprising, here are five events taking place in South Africa that pay tribute to the watershed day.
Youth Day Forum – Let’s Talk!
The Apartheid Museum will be hosting a forum moderated by author Eusebius McKasier and is aimed at providing a platform for the youth to talk about the issues affecting them.
Address: Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Road, Johannesburg
Vuyani Dance Company will be showcasing choreographer Gregory Maqoma’s Rhythm Colour in the heart of where the 1976 protests started, Soweto. Taking place until June 18 at the Soweto Theatre, the production – which debuted in 2002 – reflects on the iconic Sam Nzima image of a dying Hector Pieterson and the common vision held by the youth of 1976, to eradicate all injustices.
Address: Corner Bolani Rd and Bolani Link Jabulani Soweto
Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth: Musical Reflections on the Youth of ’76
Taking place at Artscape, Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth is a creative reflection of the era of 1976 through music and spoken word. There will be monologues by Thembi Mtshali-Jonesand Bo Petersen as well as poetry by Koleka Putuma and Siphokazi Jonas. Trumpeter Mandla Mlangeni, who leads African Music Ensemble, will be performing on the day.
Address: DF Malan St, Foreshore, Cape Town
For Youth By Youth
Creative Nestlings, a collective of young creative Africans, will host a panel discussion reflecting on the state of South Africa and its future. Hosted by Luyanda Peter, the panel will include writer Lindokuhle Nksoi and actor and children’s book author Buhle Ngaba, and more.
Address: 129 Longmarket Street, 8001 Cape Town, South Africa
Sarafina! free screening
Iconic South African musical Sarafina!, about a group of school children fighting for their freedom will be screened across the country at various venues, such as select Ster Kinekors. E.tv, Joburg Theatre and some community centre’s in KwaZulu-Natal will also screen the Anant Singh-produced film. See the list of venues screening the film.