Actress Mulalo Ndou says if she had the chance to speak to the class of June 16, 1976, she would go on her knees and say thank you a million times.
Ndou told HuffPost SA on Thursday that the freedoms today's youth enjoy were on the foundations laid by the class of 1976.
"June 16 humbles and takes me back to my roots. It reminds me that the freedom I have today has cost lives and how I use it shows my appreciation and how grateful I am. I'm here today with the knowledge and freedom I have because they paid the ultimate price and their blood paved the way for us today," she said.
Ndou said although the foundations were laid in 1976, more still needs to be done to completely liberate today's generation of young people.
"We still have to pay a lot of money just to get a tertiary education and by the time we finish university we are already in hugely indebted. So, even when or rather if I get a job a big chunk of my salary has to pay for the loans I begged for when I was still in varsity. We will, for a long time, work from hand to mouth and because of that, we can never be completely free," Ndou said.
She said young people should bring about their own radical economic transformation.
"We are better than this 'blesser/blessee' wave. We may not have all we need at our disposal, but we can draw inspiration from the class of 1976 who went out to the streets even though they knew they could be killed. They were still willing to take a stand and fight for what was right," Ndou said.
She added, "Government will not hand us everything. We need to create our own employment rather than try to make ourselves employable. We need to know better how to put together a business proposal rather than how to write a CV".
Ndou said the recent #MenAreTrash trend was necessary to raise consciousness among young men.
"As much as we know that not all men are trash but the hashtag gave these men light and made them realise that if they don't do anything about the abuse that our mothers, sisters and daughters encounter then they might as well be labelled as trash. It gave them the courage to say no to their fellow brothers who are trash," she told HuffPost SA.
She said she believes the only way South Africa can deal with the scourge of abuse is by reintroducing the death penalty.
If Ndou had her way, former president Thabo Mbeki would return as the country's next head of state.
"This country needs his intelligence and his style of leadership. We need a break from the chaos that has been happening and I feel like he is that one ex we can always go back to even after a terrible breakup, I think by this time we have realised how much of a great president he was," she told HuffPost SA.
Ndou plays the role of Kamo Phalane on SABC1's 'Skeem Saam', which airs daily at 6.30pm.