Thousands of young people from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries on Saturday gathered in Pretoria as the Shepherd Bushiri-led Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) hosted its international youth conference.
Soon after midday, two huge marquees with an estimated capacity of 4 000 and 9 000 people respectively were packed by ecstatic young people from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), among others.
The South Africans held up banners representing the different provinces. Thousands of chairs were also placed outside the marquees, many already occupied by young people.
A media advisory issued by the ECG’s international youth coordinator Winnie Tshirangwana stated that the festivities on Saturday were part of the vast church’s “Youth Magnets” initiative to join the the global community in commemorating International Youth Day, which falls on June 16.
“Like other years, this year the ECG Youth Magnets will also join the global community on June 16, which falls on Sunday – our main day of worship. The ECG is also fully cognisant of the critical national significance of June 16 within the Republic of South Africa, and the millions of its people,” said Tshirangwana.
She said Bushiri would be joined by other “leaders of society”, including representatives of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and a delegation from the ministry in the presidency responsible for women, youth, and persons with disabilities. Also in the lineup to address the young people is renowned entrepreneur and international banker Jerry Mashamba.
June is dedicated as Youth Month in South Africa, with numerous activities on the calendar commemorating the role of young people in society.
– African News Agency (ANA)