For the better part of two thousand and sixteen there were significant signs that South African Youth ought to return to their roots and embrace African Values. What has brought us thus far is our culture and values as a people. For we would have perished, we would have amounted to nothing.

Our twenty two years of democracy would not have been a reality. The
struggle was won due to discipline and respect for our Values. We have so many things to show and celebrate as a result of African values. While at it, we also have so many unfortunate situations which transpired due to our neglect for our values.

On the seventeenth of September in Limpopo we laid to rest Zanele Shirinda from Ngove village in the Gretater Giyani Municiplity. This was after she went missing and was later found dead in a shallow grave next to a river the next day. Her village failed her! We failed her as a people!

Recently in November in a small town of Klerksdorp, twenty six young girls who were forced into prostitution, forced into dehumanizing deeds were found after a community tip off. The HAWKS were able to rescue the victims and arrest the perpetrators. The people of the North West province refused to ignore wrong things which were transpiring in their community and decided to protect their children. Indeed ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.

Today young people no longer value their families, they do not respect
elders. Worse in villages, the youth rape their grand parents. With
economic opportunities and positive advantage given to the youth to amass
wealth, elders are left in the cold, disrespected and insulted. It gets
worrying when a young person, who is a breadwinner seizes to listen and
respect his or her parents because of the money they posses. As young
people we must never forget our values, we must embrace our values and pass them from one generation to the other. If we can do this, South
Africa and its people will become better. Our communities will be safer.

As a people we must embrace and affirm the ‘Respect of Authority & Elders, different Languages, religious tolerance, hospitality, human relations, and community life’. These are important values. As we celebrate Family day on the  twenty sixth of December, let us use this time to reflect on how we can use our Ubuntu as a people to make our lives better.

For if we embrace our values and abide by them, we will be tolerant to the rights of other, we will not carry traits of homophobia and xenophobia. We will protect our girls and not rape them, we will not steal from the poor.

Of importance we will not look away when corruption is conducted amongst us.

As we celebrate being Africans, let us celebrate that which makes us a
unique people. A people of love and values. A people with a difficult past but conquered to be where we are today. A people who learn from their fore father. Learning the power of African Values.

Rhulani Thembi Siweya is a the founder of Africa Unmasked and an NEC member of the ANC Youth League. She writes in her personal capacity.

Ends

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