The Department of Youth in Development Studies at the University of Venda recently hosted a Youth Month Celebration to commemorate the spirit and legacy of the June 16 Soweto Uprising.
The highlight of the event was a captivating public lecture by Prof Thierry M Luescher, an esteemed expert in youth development.

In his lecture, Prof Luescher explored the contemporary realities faced by today’s youth, including their struggles and triumphs. He also shed light on the unique perspectives and innovative solutions that young people bring to society. His talk sparked a lively and dynamic discussion among the students, who were inspired to reflect on the vital role of youth in shaping the future of our communities.
Prof Luescher also stressed the critical role that young people play in driving leadership and entrepreneur-ship. In his public lecture, he underscored the importance of empowering youth to take on leadership roles and explore entrepreneurial opportunities, noting that their unique perspectives and innovative ideas can spur economic growth and promote social change.

A senior Lecturer in the Department of Youth in Development Studies, Prof. Tsoaledi Daniel Thobejane added his own perspective on the importance of the event, saying, “The youth are not simply the leaders of tomorrow; they are the change-makers of today. By celebrating their contributions and honoring their struggles, we pave the way for a more equitable and just future for all. It is my hope that this event will inspire us to continue supporting and uplifting our youth, who hold the keys to shaping a better world for generations to come.”

vAs Prof Thizwilondi Josephine Mudau, Head of Department of Youth in Development Studies courteously said, “The future belongs to our young students, and it is our responsibility as a University to support them in their journey to shape the world they will inherit.” Prof. Mudau’s sentiment underscored the importance of the event and the public lecture as a platform for engaging in meaningful dialogue and providing a space for students to share their experiences and voice their aspirations.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) Secretary General, Mr Ngelekanyo Maduwa, took the opportunity to address students in attendance, expressing his gratitude to the event organisers and reinforcing the importance of events such as these in fostering a culture of youth engagement and empowerment. “We are extremely grateful to the Department of Youth in Development Studies for organising this event, which is a testament to their commitment to promoting youth development and celebrating the vitality and resilience of our generation,” the Secretary General stated. “Events like these provide a valuable platform for us to come together, learn from each other, and chart a course towards a brighter future,” he concluded.

One young person in attendance, Mr Tsundzuka Hakamela, shared his experience and insights on the Youth Month Celebration. “As a young person, it’s empowering to see our University coming together to recognise the struggles and contributions of the youth. Prof Luescher’s lecture was thought-provoking and inspiring, reminding us of our own potential and the power we hold to shape our own destinies,” he said.

The Faculty Manager of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, Dr Mafemani Joseph Baloyi, was en-thused by the level of engagement displayed by the students, stating, “It was truly inspiring to see our stu-dents so actively involved in the topic, and thoughtfully applying these insights to their own lives.”
The second session of the event, which was led by Dr Keamogetse Morwe, included a slide show of pictures and words that were uttered by various students from different universities pertaining to issues such as “The Fees must Fall Movement” and student leadership in various institutions of higher learning.

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