March to honour slain struggle heroes

Yolanda Mhaga.

A young Imizamo Yethu woman is aiming to put on a Youth Day event with a difference.

Former Silikamva High School head girl, Yolanda Mhaga, hopes to hold a march by candlelight through the streets of the settlement on Saturday June 16 in remembrance of the young people of previous generations who fell in the struggle against apartheid.

“These days we see Youth Day as a celebration, but I’m wanting to make it a more serious affair, a commemoration of our fallen heroes,” she said.

“I think today’s youth are losing the culture of the struggle. In the past, we used to read books and were willing to learn in order to make our voices heard.

“Today, in order to deal with challenges, the youth turn to drugs and alcohol instead. This march aims to remind young people to be educated in order to achieve what they want.”

Ms Mhaga is in the process of rounding up 60 youths from Imizamo Yethu to take part in the march, to be held from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Youth Day.

However, it is also open to any members of the community provided they are dressed in the uniform of their organisation.

“We are wanting to print that famous photo of Hector Peterson (by Sam Nzima) on T-shirts and a banner that will be carried by the marchers.

“All the youth will be expected to be in their school uniforms, just as Hector Peterson was.

“I am currently raising funds to buy the candles for the march. I feel holding it at night with all these lit candles will make a striking image and bring home our message.”

Ms Mhaga was intending to stage the march last year, but was hampered by the many disruptions in Imizamo Yethu, including the March 11 fire and subsequent housing protests.

Anyone wishing to donate funds for the candles and T-shirts can email Ms Mhaga on mhaga
mandisa@gmail.com