Youth Leadership in Conflict Response in South Africa

Authored by: Cihan Dizdaroğlu

Routledge Handbook of Conflict Response and Leadership in Africa

Print publication date:  September  2021
Online publication date:  September  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367332228
eBook ISBN: 9780429318603
Adobe ISBN:


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Youth played important roles through political actions in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Starting from the establishment of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in April 1944 to the formation of South African Students Organizations (SASO) in 1968 and to Soweto’s uprising in 1976, youth took a pivotal role in resisting segregation within the country. The youth leadership in those organizations and political actions was essential to galvanizing the youth to step up against apartheid policies. Such names as Nelson Mandela, Anton Lembede, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, and many others exhibited the influential youth leadership needed to determine their country’s fate. Despite the popular belief that young people should listen to and respect elders’ wisdom, South Africa is a rare successful case in which youth was the main constituent in resistance in order to change the country.

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