On Youth Day, we honour the young people who lost their lives in the uprising that started in Soweto and spread across South Africa in June 1976. While the memory of the day holds a sombre note still, we at Flow also try to focus on the positive, by believing in and supporting young people from all walks of life.
Flow’s staff comprises people from various age groups, backgrounds and cultures, which we believe makes us adaptable, strong and able to relate to others. Here are some of our Flowstars’ reflections on Youth Day.
Flow head of PR Caroline Smith shares a lovely story about her mother. “Years ago, when I was very young, Youth Day was called Soweto Day. That was before freedom. My mother used to draw yellow daisies on her chalkboard at school, to commemorate the deaths.
“She was a white teacher in a white school – it was subversive. I will always be grateful for the big sacrifices those children made for freedom in terms of their education and their futures, and the small sacrifices of people like my mother who made sure that their protests were not in vain.”
A young, new addition to the content studio, intern Moiketsi Thipe says although it is an incredibly sad day, Youth Day is also a reminder of the power of the youth. “Young people are often belittled or demeaned, but in fact can create incredible impact when they stand together for a cause. The youth should never be underestimated.”
Flow paid social media specialist Muchaneta Madavo reflects on how, remarkably, the impact of 16 June 1976 was felt worldwide.
PR account director Chuma Siswana looks to the future in considering what Youth Day could achieve constructively.
“I think celebrating 16 June should be refocused to be relevant to the young people who might not have the same emotional attachment to what happened on that day as their parents. South Africans should try to repurpose the day to ignite social conscience. I think the date should be themed every year, with a call to action that will interest the youth enough to engage in something meaningful.”
It is a priority for Flow to encourage and include young people. One company initiative is our internship programme, which sees selected interns working across various teams or developing specific skill sets (such as content creation, graphic design or public relations) for a few weeks or months at a time. This also helps to ensure that our teams remain open to new ideas and keep in touch with the world outside Flow.
With nearly half of our work force comprised of millennials (roughly, those born between 1977 and 1995), and even a few Generation Zs (born from 1996 onwards), Flow encourages young people to enter the world of communications and marketing as we know what value they can bring.
We wish all South Africans a peaceful and harmonious Youth Day.