Six reporters, photographers and media chiefs are to be tried for invasion of privacy over topless photos of Kate Middleton

In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

Channel O Youth Day ad stirs up a storm

2015-06-17 07:34

Cape Town – Channel O's (DStv 320) Youth Day's interpretation of an iconic South African struggle era photo has been slammed as "incredibly insensitive" and "disgusting".

The Channel O music channel provided by M-Net to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, took the iconic "Soweto Uprising" photograph taken by Sam Mzima of Mbuyisa Makhubo running through the streets of Soweto holding the body of the 13-year old Hector Pieterson alongside a traumatised 17-year old sister Antoinette Pieterson.

The photo reimagined it as if apartheid never happened.

The Cape Town agency Black River FC came up with the idea to redo the iconic struggle image for the TV channel – now with happy youth laughing and smiling as opposed to the haunting black-and-white image.

Photographer Nganga Dlanga took the new photo for Black River FC's advert in which the lifeless body of Hector Pietersen has been replaced by a graduation gown.

The advert has been described as "appalling" over how it is commercialising and diminishing a painful memory of South Africa's past.

Now without any of the blood or visceral trauma on the faces of the original image's subjects, it comes complete with a schmaltzy tag-line: "Live the dream the youth of '76 died for".

Cape Town essayist T.O. Molefe wrote that the gratuitous and superficial Channel O marketing campaign perverts "history to sell young people false dreams and avert their eyes from the real" issues.

"Four decades later we still don't know where Mbuyisa is. Papering over a person whose whereabouts are still unknown, whose family is still clinging to the hope that he might still be alive, is an appalling way to remember the past and live the present ethically."

"I wonder Mbuyisa's family will say to yet another abuse of his image?" writes T.O. Molefe.

"Shameful and disgusting mockery of history," said Nobesuthu Cele on Twitter over Channel O's ad, a sentiment echoed by many on the social media network.

"We gloss over our history so much and turn crucial details and events into mere campaigns too often. To some it's like some scripted story," said Flo Masebe.

The ad has also received praise from celebrities and users on social media:

This is so moving. "Live the dream the youth of '76 died for." #YouthDay #regram @zintathu @babydlanga

A photo posted by Lindiwe Mazibuko (@lindimazibuko) on

Photographer, Nganga Dlanga, took to Twitter to thank his supporters:

Read more on:    dstv  |  channel o  |  multichoice  |  youth day publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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

Recent News

It seems like you can find love on the bachelor after all. Read More »

AMC's The Walking Dead returned for another season with an episode likely to become the series' most-watched ever Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.