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116 June 2022, South African Tourism and the South African Consulate General New York commemorate the country’s Youth Day by launching a new digital campaign in the heart of New York City’s Time Square. The campaign creative features three of the destination’s innovators that embody the revolutionary spirit, creativity and courage of its young people including comedian Trevor Noah, visual activist Zanele Muholi, and innovator Siyabulela Xuza.

Youth Day, which is observed annually on June 16th , honours a defining moment in South Africa’s 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 June 16,1976, 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.”

The campaign creative is displayed on a multi-story billboard known as “The Digital Crown,” which is in Times Square’s pedestrian plaza between 44th and 45th streets.

Trevor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Hailing from Johannesburg, Noah released an autobiography titled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, which detailed his childhood and was a New York Times bestseller.

Zanele Muholi is a South African photographer, visual artist, and activist whose work tells the stories of LGBTQIA people’s lives in various townships across the country. The Durban-born artist has presented exhibitions at prominent institutions as the Tate Modern in London, Fotografiska in Stockholm and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, among others.

Siyabulela Xuza is a distinguished South African scientist, energy-engineering expert, entrepreneur and Harvard engineering graduate. Founder of Galactic Energy Ventures, Xuza recently had a minor planet named after him by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-affiliated Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory in recognition of his innovation in homemade rocket fuel.

“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.”


Media Contacts within North America Justin Barnette South African Tourism Tel: (646 952-4146 Email: Website: OR Helen Ames Finn Partners Tel: (212) 715-1646 Email:

Note to editors: South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred leisure and business events destination.

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