#FreedomDay: Happy 23rd birthday to our democracy

As a democratic nation since 1994, South Africa celebrates its 23rd birthday today.

While the country’s citizens mark the momentous occasion with a public holiday, Freedom Day, many will take the opportunity to reflect on the gains we have made as a country as well as the long way we still have to go.

Events will include many local celebrities who remember where they were during the first democratic elections and what the day means to them.

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Romy TitusSteven KitshoffLoyiso MacDonaldLindy Hibbard

TV and radio personality Romy Titus:

Freedom Day to me means the breaking of the shackles to the present day. It’s a day I cherish because it would have been the first time my parents could have their voices heard by making their mark as voters for the first time. It’s a symbol that I would always be free to have my say and be an active part in building the new South Africa.

Radio personality Lindy Hibbard:

I was nine years old, in primary school, when the first democratic ballot was cast. I knew something big was happening but at that age I couldn’t comprehend the monumental change that our country was on the brink of. Are you an active voter, and what does that mean to you? Absolutely! Lately I’ve seen a strong determination to see change in our country, and the best way to bring about that change is through our vote. For me it’s the best way to use my democratic power.

Professional rugby player Steven Kitshoff:

Freedom Day is a day that’s held in the highest regard for so many South Africans. I salute all those who fought hard to make a difference. I was too young to vote in 1994 but have practised my right to vote ever since. One vote could mean all the difference and shape so many lives.

Actor Loyiso MacDonald:

The first time I understood the concept of freedom was as a child. I used my imagination to create any world I wanted and be in that world whenever I wanted. As an adult, I realised that freedom and how it is expressed is an important function - the freedom to be who you are and choose what is important to you.

The Star

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