16 June 1976 - The Soweto Uprising.
The accounts of how many people died vary from 200 to 600, with Reuters news agency currently reporting there were "more than 500" fatalities in the 1976 riots . The original government figure claimed only 23 students were killed. The number of wounded was estimated to be over a thousand men, women, and children. It was later found that most of the wounds received by the protestors were in the back clearly indicating that the majority of the victims where running away.It is a day violently etched on the South African collective conscience. Commemorated over 30 years later as Youth Day, an official holiday, it is the day that honours the deaths of hundreds of Soweto schoolchildren, a day that changed the course of the country's history. The events of June 16, 1976 marked a turning point in South Africa's political history.
I believe that what is most imperative to take away from this article is not the mistakes made by our "forefathers" , but rather the forgiveness and peace that has shaped South Africa into its "ubuntu" and democratic nation. There is a lot that a man can do to have his life measured by, but my true believe are that whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can't know, you can't ever really know the meaning of your life and you don't need to just know that your life has a meaning.
Every life has a meaning whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds.
Every life and every death changes the world in its own way. Ghandi knew this. He knew his life
would mean something to someone, somewhere, somehow. And he knew with as much certainty that he
could never know that meaning. He understood that enjoying life should be of much greater concern
then understanding it.
And so do I.
You can't know so don't take it for granted. But don't take it too seriously.
Don't postpone what you want, don't leave anything misunderstood, make sure the people you care about know, make sure they know how you really feel.
Because just like that... IT COULD END.
Today as South Africa commemorates and honours the youth of the nation, we knew that back in 1976, just like that it could end, but it didn't. With our believe and strength we were moulded into a nation, a nation as strong as rock. We can now proudly say, "STRIKE OUR NATION, STRIKE A ROCK"