Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Africa's future is in young hands'

29 June 2013, 18:35

Soweto - US President Barack Obama told South Africa's youth on Saturday that the future of the continent was in their hands, and urged them to use Nelson Mandela as a model for political leadership.

Obama got a rowdy welcome as he used a town hall style meeting in Soweto to announce a new fellowship, which will initially take 500 young African leaders to the United States every year for academic and leadership training.

As Obama spoke, police nearby fired stun grenades to disperse hundreds of people critical of his anti-terror policies.

The US leader, on the second leg of an African tour, spoke at a University of Johannesburg not far from the homes in Soweto where Mandela, now 94 and in a critical condition in hospital, spent several years of his life.

"The future of this continent is in your hands," Obama said.

He urged young people in Soweto and those watching the town hall meeting in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda to take inspiration from Mandela's refusal to be cowed by 27 years in jail.

"Think about 27 years in prison. Think about hardships and the struggles and being away from family and friends," Obama said.

"There were dark moments that tested his faith in humanity, but he refused to give up.

"In your lives there will be times to test your faith."


Obama was greeted with wild enthusiasm by the crowd in Soweto, who sang South African protest songs before he arrived and chanted his "Yes We Can" campaign slogan when he took the stage.

However, protesters set fire to US flags and portraits of Obama and at least three bangs from stun grenades were heard as armed police tried to move demonstrators away from the university.

"The message is clear. We want him to honour the promises he made when he became president, including things like the closing of Guantanamo Bay," 30-year-old Firoz Osman told AFP.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Natural aphrodisiacs to boost lib...

It is advisable to take them before sex in order to achieve maximum benefit. Read more...

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
Raila has lost his remaining bull...

He added that Jubilee and Cord are like day and night. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Mudavadi of no value to CORD, say...

Leader of Majority in National Assembly, Adan Duale has said that ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi is of no value to CORD. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth will not run for Pr...

He clarified that he will not run for Presidency in 2017 as he supports Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Exams should not have political g...

He also said that school properties must not ‘carry any political portraits’. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Matatu crew drugs female passenge...

Hours after the story was circulated on social media Sunday, the crew was traced at Dagoretti and arrested. Read more...