Inside Father’s Day and Youth Day celebrations

Students march in Soweto on 16 June 1976. | Independent Newspapers Archives

Students march in Soweto on 16 June 1976. | Independent Newspapers Archives

Published Jun 17, 2024


On June 16 South Africa observed Youth Day in remembrance of the tragic Soweto uprising, which resulted in the senseless deaths of hundreds of youth and spurred the country to rebel against the apartheid regime.

Father’s Day, which highlighted the importance of dads in society and paternal connections, was observed on the same day.

The weekend was filled with engaging events marking Youth Day and inspirational words for fathers who continue to impact their children’s lives.

Kagiso Modupe, an actor and producer, shared a post on Instagram with his family in which he spoke affectionately and expressed thanks for being a father to his children.

Modupe said: “I give thanks to God for His grace in allowing me the opportunity to be called a Father. What an honour and what a privilege! I pray that you continue to give me the strength and wisdom to fulfil this role with  humility. @lizmo2112 You are a super star for allowing me to raise our beautiful children together with Grace. Happy Father’s Day to me and all the other dads.”

Kagiso Modupe. | Supplied

Renowned actor Hungani Ndlovu shared a picture with his bundle of joy and said: “My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do — be there. That’s exactly what I plan to do. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads doing what dads are supposed to do.”

Hungani Ndlovu. Picture: Supplied

Music star Babes Wodumo expressed her sadness over the loss of her late husband, Mampintsha, who was also a well-known music artist.

On the same day, she celebrated her son’s birthday, who turned three years old.

Wodumo said: “Not today being the most emotional day; it’s Father’s Day, and also my son turns a year older. This year it’s all in one day: mixed emotions from missing my husband and celebrating Sponge’s birthday... 3 years of being your mom, @sponge_wodumo, have been amazing, Mfana wam.

“I’m blessed to be your mom each and every day. Your laughter always reminds me of your dad. I know he is smiling down on us today and celebrating. Happy 3rd Birthday, Sthandwa Sam, Khule njalo uhloniphe umhlaba Mashimane.”

Babes Wodumo. | Supplied

Political parties, including the EFF, commemorated Youth Day by sharing messages recalling the occasion as a turning point in the nation’s democratic history.

“Salute to the youth of 2024. 2024 was your 1994. A watershed moment in our democratic journey. Your votes have redefined our political landscape. Aluta Continua. Vitoria E. Certa.”

Herman Mashaba, the president of ActionSA, led the organisation’s Youth Day commemorations in conjunction with his delegation.

They began with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto, visited Japie Vilankulu’s family, and also laid a wreath at his burial site in Alexandra.

During the youth rebellion in June 1976, Vilankulu became the first casualty to die in Alexandra.

The Star

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