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SA Tourism celebrates Youth Day with digital campaign in Times Square

South Africa celebrated Youth Day on 16 June - this saw South African Tourism, the South African Consulate General New York, and Joe Public come together to commemorate this historic day by launching a new digital campaign in the heart of New York City's Time Square.
SA Tourism celebrates Youth Day with digital campaign in Times Square

The campaign creative was displayed on a multi-story billboard known as 'The Digital Crown', which is in Times Square’s pedestrian plaza between 44th and 45th streets. The creative featured three of our country’s most recognised influencers – who embody the revolutionary spirit, creativity, and courage of South Africa’s youth – these included comedian Trevor Noah, visual activist Zanele Muholi, and innovator Siyabulela Xuza.

Youth Day honours a defining moment in our history, when in 1976 about 20,000 students from the historic Soweto township staged a peaceful protest in defiance of the apartheid government’s compulsory introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools. A brutal crackdown by police resulted in the death of many students that day.

“We will never forget the sacrifice made by our young people on 16 June,1976, and we proudly honour their courage at one of the busiest intersections of the world for that reason,” said Motumisi Tawana, consul general of South Africa in New York. “Their bravery set off a chain of events that would eventually bring about the demise of apartheid. Their unwavering courage lives on in the spirit of today’s youth, and South Africa is better for it.”

“Whether it is through science, the arts, or activism, South Africa is a beacon of creativity and continues to make a name for itself on the global stage,” stated Jerry Mpufane, president of South African Tourism North America. With this campaign, we celebrate the vibrant energy of our young innovators who stand on the shoulders of those who dared to challenge the status quo in 1976 as they continue to create today. Never settling and always pushing forward, South Africa’s youth are adding to the rich culture that awaits visitors to our beloved destination.”

“This campaign means a lot to Joe Public because we were not only celebrating South Africa and some our iconic influencers to the world, but we are able to share a story and pay tribute to the heroic lives lost on a day that will never be forgotten. We want to send a message to our youth to never stop being courageous and to always stand for what they believe in,” says Mpume Ngobese, co-managing director at Joe Public.

“Joe Public is honoured to have been part of conceptualising and producing this digital campaign. Through this campaign, we were not only able to continue to put South Africa on the global tourism map but to we were able pay tribute to our youth by remembering one most important days in our history – the 16th of June 1976,” concludes Xolisa Deyshana, chief creative officer at Joe Public.

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