As we mark this important day, may the words of our icon and founding father echo throughout our land, “Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement”, Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994. Happy Freedom Day South Africa!
But what does freedom mean for the young people of this nation? We asked some views from the young people at SALO on Freedom day last year and this is what they said:
“For me, freedom means having the ability and the right to express myself. The ability to live in a society where everyone is equal and to take into account the immense responsibility of having that freedom, given the sacrifice that many gave for me and everyone to attain that freedom”, Athenkosi Thoba.
“Freedom to me is Choice! Which school I want to attend, what profession I’d like to go into and who I want to marry, where I’d like to live, travel at will. These were not just restricted by race but by gender” Jessey Matlou.
“Freedom to me means living in a society that values the importance and contribution of women in leadership roles, and where the choices I make for myself are not determined by surviving structural patriarchy” Daisy Mbutho.
“To me, freedom is living in a world with people who have boundless love for each other and a world absent of greed and arrogance. If we eliminate the thought “I deserve better, and I am better than you” we can achieve freedom. You simply cannot hurt or oppress another person if you regard them as highly as yourself, so to me it starts with a change in mindset towards one another.” –
We have come far, but the long walk to freedom is not yet over.