A Youth Day Tribute to the South African Constitution

By Samantha Varney - 16 June 2016

youth day south african constitution

In the true spirit of 1976, the Dlala Nje kids this week performed a tribute to human rights and our treasured constitution.

Dlala Nje partnered with the clerks of the Constitutional Court to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the June 16, 1976 uprisings with a dance and theatre production.

Breaking it down during the Dlala Nje Constitutional Concert

Moving South Africa forward after apartheid required the design and building of a set of rights that ensured all South African's were made equal. Extensive, detailed and inclusive negotiations were conducted, with an acute awareness of South Africa's history and the injustices carried out before its inception.

Our leaders created a constitution that is often hailed as the most progressive in the world. It's something that all South Africans should be proud of, and something that we should ensure our children understand, learn and cherish.

Nelson Mandela, during his address at the inauguration of the Constitutional Court, said:

"People come and go. Customs, fashions and preferences change. Yet the web of fundamental rights and justice which a nation proclaims must not be broken"

Intertwined within our 'fundamental rights' lies the ability for people from a range of backgrounds to live their lives freely; regardless of their heritage, values, beliefs and decisions. The constitution provides a platform that protects these 'fundamental rights' and ensuring that our children learn about these rights not only means that they are able to protect themselves, it also ensures that they grow up respecting and protecting those around them.

For 6 months the Concourt clerks ran an incredible progamme aimed at ensuring that the kids from Dlala Nje learn about their fundamental rights as citizens of our country. They ensured the kids understand exactly how the Constitution is meant to protect their rights and the responsibilities we all bear to to uphold it.

Some of the wonderful ConCourt Clerks supporting the kids during the performance

The programme has been both practical and fun. We even visited the Constitutional Court where the kids got the opportunity to debate in the court itself. On Tuesday the programme culminated in the kids putting on a performance with the aim of showcasing all they have learned.

Teaching us about the constitution through fun interpretative dance and poetry

The production consisted of poetry, speeches, a mock judgement and so much dancing. Many proud parents and family members were there to show their support.

Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron was even in attendance. He thanked both Dlala Nje and the Concourt clerks for instilling constitutional values in our country's children.

Judge Cameron thanking the kids for their performance

A deep sense of morality was expressed through the poetry and performances. The children spoke of their responsibilities as the youth to ensure that we contribute to our country in practical and real ways. It was a deeply humbling experience to see the Dlala Kids underline the importance of contribution.

The exposure that the ConCourt Clerks have given to our children aligns completely with what we aim to achieve at Dlala Nje. Working with our children to ensure they are empowered to build a country we are all proud of. We can't thank them enough!

Long live the spirit of 1976 - LONG LIVE!

Nhlanhla ending of the evening with a big thank you to all who joined us!

Photos: Jono Wood