The hall of Spine Road High School in Rocklands was filled to maximum capacity on Friday April 13 when 1 800 young people from around Cape Town gathered for a youth conference, hosted by This Generation in partnership with the Mitchell’s Plain Youth Forum.
Stanton “Swiff D” Rodrigues, 27, from New Woodlands is the founder of This Generation, a revival organisation, which is registered as a non-profit company.
“There are so many killings, death and gang violence within our community yet there are so many young people that are caught in this who are trying to live right for God and have a better life for themselves,” said Stanton.
Born and raised in Hanover Park, Stanton became caught up in gangsterism and did tik and heroin. He has been clean from drugs for 12 years.
Stanton decided that he needs to help others come to God.
He started rapping at the age of 18, “to lift up the name of Jesus” and stuck to this to encourage those around him and remind them that they are not alone in their struggle.
He said three years ago he received a mandate from God that he needed to create This Generation as a revival, not only for his community but for the city.
At Kasselsvlei High School in Bellville South on Friday January 26, This Generation headed their first conference, attended by 1 200 young people who shared their testimonies.
On Friday April 13, they held their second conference at Spine Road High.
“We want people to know that there is life after the bad times, and life after pain and struggle.
“We want to let people know that they do have a second chance at life,” said Stanton.
Jermain Visagie, 24, from Manenberg , one of the team members of This Generation, said: “We would like to instil leadership in young people wherever we go.”
Young people go on hikes and outings with the team and are also counselled by them.
“We go the extra mile to walk with them as far as we can,” said Stanton.
The team that works with Stanton is a group of about 20 and range in age from 23 to 40 years. They come from Hanover Park, Bonteheuwel, Bellville, Pelican Park and Mitchell’s Plain, among others.
Their aim is to have their own youth centre focusing on rehab programmes and teaching young people how to write a curriculum vitae.
”If you’ve got a skill, we would like to tap into that and nurture that gift. Assist with rehab programmes and assist those who haven’t finished school,” said Stanton.
For more information on their next conference as well as other programmes and activities hosted by them, call Stanton on 081 731 8611, follow their Facebook page This Generation or log on to www.tg.org.za
“We want to impact the city like never before, as every soul matters,” said Stanton.