Youth has always played an important role in the live of South Africa. They are defined as South African citizens between the ages of 14 and 35. Due to the many cultures and the large age span defined in the constitution of South Africa, the youth are quickly influencing culture and day-to-day life.
Characteristic of this is the Pantsula culture. It emerged during apartheid and was a form of identification for the youth of Soweto and another township, Alexandria. It has its own dance, dress and the music has lyrics ranging from English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu to Iscamtho, which is a hybrid of many languages, a street language.
But the youth also performed a political role in South Africa's history. On 16 June 1976, the youth of Soweto took the streets in protest of educational reforms imposed upon them. It is commonly referred to as the Soweto Uprising. Many young people were killed, including 13-year Hector Pieterson. This was the catalyst for a renewed fight against the apartheid state, culminating in a turbulent time during the 1980's. Many of the black youth did not attend school in protest and became politically active, making them key to the struggle against apartheid. The date of 16 June is now celebrated as Youth Day, in commemoration of the sacrifice the young made for a democratic South Africa.
The Hector Pierterson Museum in Soweto is a commemoration to the Soweto Uprising.