South Africa: The 47th annual commemoration of the Soweto Uprising finally ended after an inspiring Youth Celebration Week in Potchefstroom. This past week was set aside for the youth to reflect on the people’s journey in empowering them; for they are the country’s future.
As the South African National Defence Force youth in the Northwest province and the surrounding communities were signing out, they left with a sense of contentment as they felt included in programmes that sought to better their lives.
After the parade, the drilling competition entertained the guests from the four services of the South African National Defence Force, namely, the South African Army, South African Air Force, South African Navy, and lastly, the South African Military Health Services that took the first spot in the competition.
There is no doubt that this propitious event was a success. When the week started, during the media briefing, Major General Zuziwe Maso, Chief Director of Transformation Management, emphasized that the end goal for this youth celebration week is to have transformed, motivated, proactive and community impact makers.
The programme included interfaith service, youth dialogue and the sports day with remarkable speakers telling their stories on overcoming challenges in their lives.
The Chief of Human Resources, Vice Admiral Elias Kubu’s address, gave an assignment to the principals, mentors and even to some fellow peers to do some introspection at the end of the gathering as a reflection on how many doors they have opened for the young people.
He said they should ask themselves how they have sharpened skills to support the youth in realizing their full potential in accordance with the National Youth Month themed, “Accelerating Youth Economic Emancipation for Sustainable Future.”
Furthermore, he quoted Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” He added and said this quote is more appropriate for the times that we are living in.
Vice Admiral Kubu cautioned against young South African National Defence Force members in full uniform partaking in social media video dance challenges as if they were influencers or entertainers. He is concerned that some of the actions may tarnish the image and the dignity of the South African National Defence Force.
Vice Admiral Kubu insists that these behaviours only represent some of the brave, talented and hardworking personnel who continue to uphold the high values and standards that are expected of them.