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“ We need to celebrate our twenty years to freedom in a way that unites us. We have a democracy that is revered the world over and it is important that we come together to create a society that cherishes freedom,” said Social cohesion ambassador chairperson Yvonne Makgoro two days before South Africa mark six months until our 20 year democratic anniversary.
The Department of Arts and Culture yesterday unveiled the first 20 years to Freedom “ Countdown Clock “ at Maponya Mall, Soweto. The digital screen depicts exactly how much time remains until April 27, 2014, showing hours, minutes and seconds.
In partnership with LeadSA, Brand SA, Proudly South African and the department of communication, the clocks will form part of the celebrations running up to April, 2014.
Yusuf Abramjee of LeadSA said LeadSA was committed to carrying the message of our unique political history. Freedom Fridays, a call to all citizens to wear something that embodied their “South-Africanness” every Friday, was launched last month and according to Abramjee, the clocks would further galvanize the nation to value and celebrate the twenty year campaign.
Situated at the entrance to the Soweto mall, the clock is a symbol to visitors of the two decades of democracy since 1994, said Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile.
“ The clock is a reminder to us to take stock of what each of us is doing each day as a South African. By helping others , we can build our nation.”
He also urged the public to come forward wit their stories of how democracy has changed their lives and how the country has progressed. According to Dawn Klatzko, project manager for the countrywide roll-out of the digital countdown clocks, the zones set up by the department will include interactive areas.
These will involve a talent zone where the public can express themselves through performance art and will be assisted by ambassadors to register their stories of democracy, which will be publicized on a storyboard section of the digital screens.
The countdown zones will controlled and rolled out over the coming six months in a number of public spaces, including malls and the three major airports.
Makgoro called on South Africans to delve into their past and share their individual stories to provide content for the interactive display areas. “ We have challenges but we will find new ways to address the difficulties. If we condition ourselves with human kindness, we can show how we cherish our nation and that we have exported Ubuntu to the rest of the world,” said Makgoro.