We are always told that ‘Education is key’, but we don’t realize how important that saying is until we look back at what the brave heroes and heroines who marched and some died for education in 1976.  June 16, 1976, is one of the most historically important dates in South Africa; students from different parts of the country took off to the streets to protest for the right to equal education amongst all races. There are questions I keep asking myself, like if I had the to meet the entire class of 76’ what would one say and what does their sacrifices mean; Firstly thank you doesn’t cover what you have done for an entire generation, we are able to dream beyond our dreams and we are able to make that happen due to the best education we are getting today. A little black child is able to dream about being a CEO, pilot, doctor, journalist, and scientist and is able to be the first young black, to do something that could change the event of the time. However, this question wasn’t only paused to only one but more:

Dear class of 76                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Thank you for the immense sacrifices that you did to give us the opportunities that we enjoy today. You’re a generation of warriors that refused to be put into a system that would only benefit the minority. Your fighting spirit inspired change.  – Morena 

 
Thank you for your bravery, your selflessness, thank you for going against a system that wanted to so badly dim your light, Thank you for not giving up on South and mostly that you for the privileges I have now. I am because you were. Their sacrifices mean everything to me, they paved a path for me
Karabo.

 
If I had the chance to meet them, I would simply say thank you for their braveness, their boldness and their willingness to die just so we could have a better life. Your sacrifices mean everything to me
. – Nonzwakazi 

 
I want to say thank you to the entire class for helping us shape this new democracy we live in today. Our lives have forever been changed because of their sacrifices and passion for change. Their struggle and strife resulted in their success and thanks to their dedication I’m a born free Kenton

 
I would like to start off by saying thank you because of your courage learning in Afrikaans is no longer a thing, and also to commend them for going against the system. That took a brave heart and the ripple effect of their decisions lives today and I’d ask them how to keep their legacy going. – Eva

Thank you is never enough but we shall continue to make sure that we carry on their legacy and make sure that what the class of 76 fought for shall not go to waste, there is still a lot that we need to do for better education in some parts of the country and the class of 76 has paved the way for us.

 

By: Yami Nhlenyama

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