Local celebs dish on what Freedom Day means to them
South Africa is celebrating 27 years of democracy this Tuesday. It is because in 1994, on this day, all South Africans became eligible to vote for the first time in the first democratic national elections.
As a result, Nelson Mandela became the first black president, and April 27 was named “Freedom Day”.
As we commemorate this momentous day in our history, some of Mzansi’s celebrities share their messages of hope for the citizens of this country.
The TV and radio personality says that the history behind Freedom Day is something she cannot wait to share with her kids. “Freedom Day is a day that is so special to me. I remember the day so clearly as a kid when South Africa took to the polls and voted for the first time in a free fair, and democratic election.
“For my children, it’s a day I need to educate them about. I need them to see footage of that day and just how special it was,” she said.
For the television presenter, Freedom Day is a time to look back at how far we’ve come as a country.“Nothing is quite as fundamental as having a voice and being able to use that voice to make choices that inspire the flow of your life. Freedom Day represents that for me - the freedom to choose to be heard. I hope that we all take stock of how far we have come as a nation.
“May we also reflect on our behaviours towards others. And ask ourselves if we are doing enough to defend and respect the freedom of others whose stance may be different to our own - i.e the LGBTIQ+ communities and other minority groups,” he said.
The media personality and businesswoman also share the same sentiments as Makhubela. She explains freedom as an ongoing process and that even though we are technically a free country, there are still people that suffer from injustices.
For singer, songwriter and producer, Freedom Day is a time to self-reflect.
“Freedom Day is such an important milestone in South Africa’s history and one we should never take for granted. Free and fair elections are what has helped shape South Africa into such a dynamic country.
“The way that I relate to being free is to be able to do what I love each day – which is making the music that I want to make without being told what to do or how to do it,” said Baron.
The TV personality emphasised that as South African citizens, it is our responsibility to uplift those around us on our journey to freedom. “When speaking about Freedom Day, I like to think that we all understand that we are not quite free yet. I suspect one of the things we can learn from those who come before us is that even amid the challenges, they never gave up.
“So if you have a purpose or if you have a cause or something inside of your heart that is making you feel that you have to keep moving, do it. And as you take a step up, reach down and hold somebody’s hand and give them a step up with you. That’s the only way we can have ultimate freedom – when we free our minds,” she said.
Radio host Potelwa says that days like these should be used to have conversations about inspiring one another to be the best version of ourselves. She said: “I see Freedom Day as one where we reflect as well as a day where we look to the future!
“Yes, we have to celebrate the heroes who came before us and allowed us to be where we are now, but we also have the responsibility to continue to make our country an even better place for those who come after us.”