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Mzansi personalities share what 28 years of freedom means to them

Masandi and Leddi G. Picture: Supplied and Instagram

Masandi and Leddi G. Picture: Supplied and Instagram

Published Apr 27, 2022


It's been a string of public holidays in Mzansi. Unlike the past couple of public holidays, this holiday is tied to the history of our country.

On April 27, Freedom Day is celebrated, marking the anniversary of our first democratic elections.

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Of course, 28 years of freedom mean different things to different people.

As a born-free myself, my definition of freedom is based on the privilege of being born into a democratic society that allows us to live without discrimination when it comes to race, gender or sexual orientation.

IOL Entertainment asked a few celebrities what Freedom Day means to them and how they plan on spending it.

Langa Mavuso

Musician Langa Mavuso. Picture: Supplied

He said: “Twenty-eight years of freedom and my wish is for us to develop our country more, create opportunities for the youth and get closer to reaching our full potential.”

Lerai Rakoditse, NickMusic presenter

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NickMusic presenter Lerai Rakoditse. Picture: Instagram

“Having been ‘born-free’ eight years into the new South African democracy, I understand the significance of those that came before me,” she said.

“Had my grandmother not housed exiled MK soldiers during their travels, had my grandfather not gone into exile, I wouldn’t have the rich heritage of strength and resilience that characterises me today.

“Had anti-apartheid activists like Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Tsietsi Mashinini and many more not fought so strongly for what they believed in, I would not be free from institutionalised racial oppression today.

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“Freedom day is a time for me to honour those that came before me and a symbol of hope for the future I want to leave.”

Masandi Mfusi, musician and actor

Actor and musician Masandi Mfusi. Picture: Supplied

He shared: “Freedom Day is very much still significant because it marks the end of over 300 years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government.

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“It’s a day of commemoration and remembrance of the sacrifices that were made by our older generations to give us the freedom we experience today.

“In this celebratory moment, I plan on spreading a message of hope and inspiration though my music and by performance.”

DJ Sabby, Metro FM radio personality

Metro FM radio personality DJ Sabby. Picture: Supplied

DJ Sabby said: “Freedom Day is a big day in our history. It was a start of a new era. A beginning of what we saw as a new dawn of the dream that was coming to life for the Republic of South Africa.

“Outside of gigs, I'm learning to take time out and educate my son on the meaning of these days so he knows where they stem from.

“An hour a day goes a long way to imparting the history that makes these days significant. That’s how I plan to spend Freedom Day this year.”

Carol Ofori, author and East Coast Radio personality

Author and East Coast Radio personality Carol Ofori. Picture: Supplied

“My mom, when she was pregnant with me, was arrested for walking in an area without having her pass and it’s a story she tells me over and over again,” Ofori said.

“She was heavily pregnant and refused to show her pass and was harassed by cops on a daily basis, and to know that I can walk the streets so freely, especially when I was pregnant with my two kids, and not having experienced that, is so powerful.”

She added: “In fact 28 years ago is nothing and we still have a long way to go so Freedom Day is incredibly special for me.

“I will be celebrating the day with the official launch of my new book series, The African Adventures of Sena and Katlego.

“The day is significant because it allows me, as a black woman, to write books about the incredible country and continent we live on.”

Martin Bester, Jacaranda FM radio personality

Jacaranda FM radio personality Martin Bester. Picture: Supplied

He said: “For me, it’s just incredible how important Freedom Day has become. Every year so many more people are realising that being who they are is not an allowance.

“No one is doing you a favour for allowing you to be who you are – it’s your right.

“People don’t need to sit down anymore. You don’t need to keep quiet any more or make apologies for who they are.

“It is their right to live freely and unapologetically. This Freedom Day, I will be going through to Nieu Bethesda in the Great Karoo to our place there.

“I will be spending some treasured time with dad for my aunt’s memorial so it’s definitely going to be a special one for me.”

Kriya Gangiah, TV and radio personality

TV and radio personality Kriya Gangiah. Picture: Supplied

Gangaih shared: “Twenty-eight years of freedom is no easy feat and it’s something we need to celebrate. It really has been a beautiful beginning, but there is still a very long road ahead of us.

“It is our responsibility as South Africans to take what we have learned in the last 28 years and constantly improve on it.

“It can be something small in our everyday lives or something on a bigger scale, but we cannot purely expect the state of freedom to improve on its own. I always say freedom is an ongoing process.

“This year, I’m celebrating with my family, friends and fur babies with a simple picnic in the park.”

Naledi ‘Leddi G’ Radebe, BET Africa presenter

BET Africa presenter, Naledi ‘Leddi G’ Radebe. Picture: Supplied

Radebe said: “Twenty-eight years of freedom means being able to pursue my dreams. As a black female , this would never have been possible without that door being opened.

“It represents the persistence, resilience and sacrifices made by those who came before me who fought vehemently for the opportunity to see my generation thrive and prosper without the burden of racist structures.

“For that, I am ever grateful and determined to purposefully uphold those freedoms by being active in society and pursuing my chosen path with intention.

“In so doing , it is a shared success.”