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10 Jun

Freedom Through The Lens of SA’s Youth

Youth Month is very important in the lives of the youth in this country. This is a reminder that the freedom they now have was fought for and didn’t come easily. We talk to three young people who are breaking into the creative industry to share their views as the current youth.


Actress Thandi Make. Image: Supplied.

Q: What does Youth Month mean to you?
A: Youth month means so much to me, not only as an actress but as a young black individual all around. The fact that we are able to embrace our crafts and creativity and excel in them using our cultures and languages just reminds me why I fell in love with the industry from get go. Every year, I see new young black faces and it just reminds me how ambitious we’re becoming as a youth and are also given the freedom to be so.

Q: What does freedom mean to you?

A: I wake up everyday extremely grateful. I try everyday to push myself to the absolute limit in achieving my goals. I try to stay motivated because in this industry or any industry for that matter, freedom is slightly subjective.

Q: What are some of the challenges that you have faced as a young person?
A: The challenges I’ve faced so far, would have to be consistency, there are so many people looking at you and expecting you to do good , and the pressure of that is just so overwhelming. I’ve also struggled with just being myself when around people, I find myself constantly having to remind myself to act in a certain manner, which can be very exhausting.

Q: What’s the advice you have for the youth?

A: Do anything and everything that makes you happy and make lots of money from it. Every year the industry loses young talent.


Miss Teen South Africa 2022 , Khanyisile Mahlangu. Image: Supplied.

Q: How are you impacting teenagers through your title?
A: The Miss Teen SA Organization is a vessel for me to carry out my advocacy. I will use the power of this title to teach our youth about the importance of good nutrition and fitness, all over Gauteng and South Africa at large.

Q: How did you prepare for the pageant?
A: I’ve prepared for this pageant in so many ways. But one of the biggest ways was to attend the ‘university of YouTube’. Every weekend I would watch any pageant videos I could find; from runway videos, to videos on how to answer onstage questions, to pageant interview videos, and even watching previous big pageants like Miss Universe and Miss Grand. Research played a big role in preparation for this pageant.

Q: What is your interpretation of Youth Month?
A: Youth month to me reminds me of the hard work our youth still needs to put in. The youth of 1976 lost their lives for the youth of today and we should always make them proud.

Q: What are some of the challenges facing the youth of today?
A: I genuinely believe that our youth is under so much pressure to succeed. Mostly, because our elders and previous generations have achieved so much under horrible conditions for example, without the benefits of democracy. We have very big shoes to fill. Also, because this generation has access to social media, seeing how successful other people puts us under even more pressure. This is disappointing because most things we see on social media aren’t real.

Q: Your advise for the youth?
A: I want to tell our youth to stand up, get on our feet, and prepare ourselves to be the leaders of our beautiful country. Let’s make those who lost their lives on June 16th 1976 proud!


Hip Hop artist and rapper Naledzii Mathiva. Image: Supplied.

Q: What influences your music?
A: I express my day to day life through music, and also other people’s stories

Q: You’re a female rapper in a male dominated industry, how do you express your freedom musically and fashion wise?
A: I’ve never viewed myself that way – as a female rapper in a male dominated industry. I grew mostly with the boys from my hood, so I was never aware of my “femaleness”, when I’m around men. So that has not affected what I do and how I do it.

Q: Youth Month signifies the freedom that the youth of 1976 fought and died for. For you personally what does this month represent to you?
A: I’m glad we don’t have to use Afrikaans as a language of instruction. I say this having attended Afrikaans schools where everything was in Afrikaans. You do get hungry speaking Afrikaans!

Q: What message do you have for the youth of today about Youth Month and freedom?
A: Enjoy it and utilise it to contribute your work to the world.

Q: As a young person, what are some of the challenges you’re facing as part of the youth of this country?
A: The challenges that the youth face today are smaller than those of 1976. Information is easily accessible today, our careers are no longer as limited and its much easier now to be anything you want to be. The challenge is now choosing because there’s so many options, you kind of get distracted.


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