Joburg Zoo hosts over 400 youth from places of safety from around Gauteng in its first ever Youth Day celebrations.

Over 400 youth ranging from 14 – 18 years from Places of Safety around Gauteng and as far a field as Magaliesburg made their way to the Johannesburg Zoo on June 16 for a Youth day celebration. The celebrations aimed at spreading awareness on the importance of our environment and the role today’s youth can have in conserving South Africa’s unique biodiversity.


The day began with the singing of the national anthem followed by a welcome note from Johannesburg zoo CEO, Dr Steven van der Spuy. He thanked special guests for giving up their time and joining in on the festivities. Special guests included New MMC for infrastructure and Environment Councillor Roslyn Greeff, MMC of Public Safety, Councilor Matshidiso Mfikoe, Miss Earth Ambassadors and Hlubi Mboyo from local soap opera Isidingo.

Councilor Roslyn Greeff addressed the youth. In her speech she said that it is the responsibility of the youth to make sure that our natural resources are cared for today, so they’ll be here for many years in the future. “Let’s not forget what the youth of ’76 taught us, heroes like Hector Pieterson, who tragically gave his life to better his future.” she added. “The future of our youth starts today” a message she left to the youth listening attentively. Her speech was the followed by a tree planting ceremony where special guests Hlubi Mboyo, Miss Earth Ambassadors and Councilor Matshidiso Mfikoe assisted in the planting of a tree.

Once the formalities were done, the youth were given the opportunity to contribute to the days celebrations. Each centre performed various acts on stage which included gumboots and ballroom dancing, poetry recitals, drama and musical performances. Educational displays were also on show where a team from Scibono wowed the crowd with their scientific experiments. Rand water’s Water Wise team kept the crowd dancing during their performance on the importance of saving water and this was followed by an interactive and fun talk by Eskom, providing valuable information on different ways to save energy.

The day was summed up by Johannesburg zoo’s education team with a live animal display. The star of the show being a corn snake which had the crowd on their feet, a fitting end to a day where the youth not only got entertained but also learned on the important role they have to play in preserving our natural resources and protecting our wildlife.

Johannesburg zoo would like to thank Café Fino, our catering sponsors, dignitaries and special guests Thanks must be given to the teams from Rand water, Eskom, Scibono, LGSETA, Joburg zoo staff and the youth from all various homes in making the day a memorial experience. The Joburg Zoo hopes to make this an annual event and endeavor to make next years Youth Day celebration even bigger and better.
Prepared and issued by Candice Segal, Acting Brand and Communications manager on behalf of the Joburg Zoo. END.

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