Boys and Girls Club honours the youth of ‘76

The teens and junior choir were the opening performance.

As Youth Month draws to a close, the Boys and Girls Club in Protea Glen wanted to end it on a good note with their youth event this past weekend.

The purpose of the event was to make kids aware of how fortunate they are because before we started with everything we gave them a task to research the 1976 Youth Uprising and what their understanding of the historical event was.

Tiselani-Khoza-and-Josephine Teme came out to support the event.

The club already has a youth programme called Ikamva which means “tomorrow” in isiXhosa. The programme has tutors who assist learners with their studies; so far there are only five tutors who cover subjects such as mathematics, accounting and languages.

Margaret May, facilitator at the club said the event was about the youth day, celebrating June 16 but we tried to collaborate with 1976 as well so the young people were showing the differences of what was happening during that time and their influence in 2017.

A Grade R learner pleading for an end to femicide.

May was also coordinating the event and she explained that the children registered with the club were given the task to research the events which led to that fateful day in ‘76. “They came back with different explanations and from that we actually gave them a task to recreate their own thing which relates to that year. Most of the work of the was choreographed by the learners.”

“Over 200 residents were invited to the event to go and support their children. “The community response was very great. Wow, the parents really supported our event a lot and all our children participated; every child had the opportunity to go on stage, even those that couldn’t make it for practices.”

Learners re-enacting the shooting of Hector Pieterson during the ’76 Youth Uprising.

The club decided on the last weekend of the month to accommodate the children writing examinations earlier in the month. Over 100 kids participated in the event, “We as the staff are so amazed at the outcome of all the work they put in, because usually at rehearsals there would a small group of people coming in to dance, but today we wanted every single child to be involved, even those who are in Grade R that took the stage.”

The hall was filled with music, dance, sketches and poetry that the boys and girls performed for their parents but the attendees responded more to the Grade R’s when they silently walked onto stage holding up placards, which they wrote on their own, in reference to the femicide scourge that occurred a month ago and also in reference to the icons who died on Youth Day.

“We want to thank everyone who came out to support the initiative, especially for the kids because it makes them feel that in their performances, they are recognised and it’s also something for them to remember over the years that they commemorated this day to such a big audience.”

A young poet rendering a poem in remembrance of the lives lost in ’76.

For participants, May said that there would be more events in future for the children to participate in, however it was not only for the fun, but for them to learn something and understand what they are doing.

For those who couldn’t attend the event, she had this to say to them, “They really missed out, we had so much fun and in future I would encourage them to come, especially the parents of our boys and girls so they can see the great work and it will mean a lot to them, to show them that their children are actually learning something from our club.”

The Boys and Girls Club will be hosting a Heritage Day event later in the year.

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Sphindile Mbatha

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