First National Bank recently launched the “You can Help” campaign that encouraged the youth to make a change and voice their rights. The campaign was promoted with advertisements that featured children reading their hopes for our country.
The ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) said this campaign was an attack on the party and their leadership. “The African National Congress is appalled by First National Bank (FNB) advertisements in which the ANC, its leadership and government, is under attack on an commercial masqueraded as youth views,” said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu – national spokesman.
Yesterday, ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said that FNB made unsubstantiated allegations against the government and the party. “Can you imagine a 16-year-old calling a mother, who is also a minister, brainless?” he said. The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) demanded an apology from FNB. “President Angelina Motshekga is a highly educated woman who has lectured at a University level and holds a number of degrees related to education. To have a school child slur scripted insults over an international platform is unacceptable and FNB should be ashamed of themselves” said spokesperson Troy Martens.
The ANC further commented that FNB should not use children to make political statements in a manner disrespectful to elders who fought 18 years for democracy. According to Times LIVE, ANC Youth League said the campaign bordered on treason.
FNB commissioned a survey for the campaign of more than 1300 children in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
News24 reported, One of the children reads: “The challenges before us cannot be solved by money, petty politics, protests or violence. All the great things we’ve done, we’ve done by helping each other.” Mthembu said it was evident from the advert that the views presented had been “engineered and doctored”. Kelly Baloyi, 17, addressed people at the launch in Soweto on Thursday, 17 Jan. This was broadcast live and was featured as the advertisement for the campaign on a blog site, along with the research report.
70% of the respondents were positive about the future – reported FNB Chief Marketing Officer, Bernice Samuels.
“We undertook the exercise as we strongly believe children have an important voice and are critical to the country’s future success,” said Samuels. “Every interview was unscripted and uncensored.” Samuels said FNB was “disappointed” at the youth league’s reaction and “gross misinterpretation” of the campaign.
She said the decision to remove the clips for now was “in the best interest of the children, until the misunderstanding is resolved”.
Other Political parties expressed their views:
Democratic Alliance – Supports the campaign: “One can only surmise that the ANC felt threatened by the school girl’s references to greed, corruption, crime and illiteracy,” DA national spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said in a recent statement
SA Communist Party said: “The SACP strongly condemns this action as highly irresponsible, reckless and unbecoming of any institution calling itself a bank,” spokesperson Malesela Maleka said in a statement.
Live Magazine SA: As a youth publication, we use Live Magazine as a platform to voice our opinions, ideas and drive for change. It is proven, our say MATTERS!Likewise, us, the youth, should always seek other platforms to help us secure our futures. Any passion is worth pursuing. Whether 16 or 25, we share a nation and it is our individual right to make our nation the best it can be. Yes, some fought 18 years to get us here, but the struggles have just begun. FNB used a strategic method of addressing all the inequalities and oppression our country still faces. Let it not end there, let’s make use of our youth power and unite to make a change. The Live Team supports the initiative of the FNB campaign and we hope that the youth will not be discouraged to stand up and speak loud. Lets fight with pride, respect and love.
It is our time! Let’s unite and not be defeated now.
What do you stand for? Comment and Let your Voice be Heard.