National holidays are celebrated throughout the year across the globe. There are some rather bizarre ones such as National Corn on the Cob Day or National Fly a Kite Day, as well as some more significant ones. These may arise based on the day the place was discovered, gained independence, or a particular event changed its course of history. Today is one of these iconic days for South Africa, National Youth Day.
This iconic holiday was first officially proclaimed in 1994 after South Africa’s first free and fair democratic elections. It is in remembrance of the Soweto Student Uprising that occurred in 1976, where school children protested against the Bantu Education system. Unfortunately it ended tragically with many victims, one of them being Hector Pieterson. A famous image of Pieterson’s body being carried by a fellow student shocked the world. It was a piece in what would indirectly but ultimately help contribute to our first free and fair democratic elections in 1994. In a country where about 66% of the population consists of youth, it is an extremely important day for South Africans of all ages to commemorate.
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” Nelson Mandela.
In the African bush, one can also see the truth in Nelson Mandela’s words. The young animals of today will ultimately become the leaders of herds or territory holders of tomorrow. This is obviously understood by the “adults” of the animal kingdom, as we see how much protection and teaching is invested in their youngsters. Be it an elephant calf learning how to find water in the Sand River, or a young lion learning to hunt, there is a constant effort by the adults to teach the future generation the skills necessary to survive. It is this that is integral to keeping the species moving forward and the natural system in balance.
To celebrate this iconic day I’ve decided to round up a few images of our “youth” at play for you. We hope you enjoy seeing the future generation of Londolozi’s animals that will keep this great landscape alive for years to come.
Happy Youth Day from the Londolozi family…