BY THATO MOTAU
The North West Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation (acsr) together
with National Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (dsac) and the National Youth
Development Agency (NYDA) hosted a graduation ceremony for 2022/23 Young
Patriots at Klerksdorp Rio Hotel on March 17th.
Young patriot is a flagship program of dsac, which involves young people between
ages of 18 to 35 years old. The aim is to engage in service delivery as a way of building
a culture of patriotism and nation building. It also seeks to make young people active
participants in community development by involving them in areas of sport, arts,
culture and heritage.
The Young Patriot Program was launched in 2016 by former Minister of Arts and
Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa. The objective was to conscientize young people to
understand their national identity and be promote it.
As he was welcoming the young patriots to their graduation ceremony, Mr Stephen
Chauke said ” In 1993 Civil War ended in Rwanda, Drought ended in Ethiopia in 1994,
South Africa got their democracy in 1994. Both Rwanda and Ethiopia are moving
forward whilst South Africa is moving backwards.
As graduates of this programme, think of the difference that you can make in order to
change the lives of ordinary citizens of the Republic and make it better.
A young patriot is a person who cares more about his or her country. When there are
riots, a young patriot does not join in but they stand against. They must teach
communities that burning of libraries, clinics and schools is not okay and stand against
“Understand your National identity, show respect to the National Anthem. Young
patriots must go to schools and teach national symbols. This is done in collaboration
with NYDA since they are the custodian of young people.
300 young people across all 9 provinces were selected and trained. North West
province had 33 young people from all four districts, with Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati
(10), Ngaka Modiri Molema (09), Dr Kenneth Kaunda (08) and Bojanala (09).” Said
Mme Keletso Lamola from Special Programs Unit in Acsr
Mr Phuthi Semenya who is the National Youth Service Manager for Partnership and
coordination-NYDA said “you have to practice what you have learned from this
program over the past 12 months. You have been chosen to make a difference in the
lives of ordinary South Africans.
Your attitude is very important, with the right attitude that we can change the lives of
other people for the better. Make South African issues your business to make it a
better place for all.” Said Mr Semenya
One of the graduates Olefile Sikwane from Moses Kotane in Bojanala District said
“when I first came in the programme I didn’t know anything with regards to the national
symbols and orders. The birth of the new nation was done in the new era in 1994. On
10 May the new flag flew for the first time. I learned a lot from the young patriot
It is very important to learn about our national identity, what makes us who we are as
a nation. I learned a lot about repatriation of people who died in exile fighting for the
freedom of South Africa.
Youth Development is very important, our government must invest in the youth to
ensure a better life for all. I am proud of this programme and would recommend it to
all the young people in the county.”
Another young patriot Nkagisang Molele from Kanana Klerksdorp said “I am from a
location and our elders do not know the national anthem, how it is sang, how do you
stand. Our people do not know how the national flag is handled. Some wear it, some
cover the coffins with it, which is wrong. It is our duty as young people to teach
everyone about our national symbols. The Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and
Recreation must assist young people with funding to ensure that their programmes
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Acsr, dsac and nyda for coming up with
this programme. If it was not because of them we would have not known the
importance of social cohesion and nation building. Said a 23 year old Noluthando Livi
In closing Mme Bagaisi Mocumi from Acsr said “Government does not have a lot of
money; you must concentrate on starting your own business. You have been inside,
and you should identify the gaps that are there inside the Department and develop
concerts from that and request funding from government for implementation. There
are bursaries available from National Arts Council, Mmabana Sports, Arts and Culture
We thank you all the patriots for availing themselves and willing to learn.