By: Cecyl Esau
Date of publication: 2015
The Beginnings of my Story
The youth population of South Africa constitutes more than half of South Africa’s young democratic state.
South Africans that the generation of Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela has been at the forefront in the fight for democracy. This was reinforced and broadened by the subsequent generation of Steven Bantu Biko, which promoted a positive conception of self and rediscovering personal agency under oppressive conditions. And, then the youthful stormtroopers of the 1980s, at huge personal cost to themselves, rendered apartheid unworkable. Thus, it ought to be understood and appreciated that the freedoms enjoyed today by all South Africans have been fought for by successive preceding generations who resisted colonialism and apartheid. People and especially, young people, are often over-awed by what has been achieved by past generations. However, few of them afford themselves the opportunity and time to explore how changes in societies are brought about and the respective roles of the individual and collective across generations. Seldom do they move beyond the mere assertion, In other words, unless there is an understanding that the past consist of many and varied stories and that our knowledge about the past is informed and shaped in multiple ways, i.e. the stories we have been exposed to, the availability and kind of sources, popular media portrayals and cultural constructions.