Freedom Friday shows SA's true colours

Friday, April 25, 2014

Johannesburg – Wearing proudly South African regalia and waving their national flags, hundreds of members of the public, including school learners, today joined together in celebrating the last Freedom Friday.

Adorned in pins and badges of the South African flag, Joy Chauke said Freedom Fridays have been a great platform to mobilise South Africans to celebrate the road they have travelled since 1994.

“We were able to rise above the worst towards a common future and that is a milestone. We have come far as a country and the future has endless possibilities,” she told SAnews at the event to mark the last Freedom Friday before Freedom Day on Sunday.

The Freedom Fridays campaign, which encourages South Africans to display their patriotism by wearing anything that shows their pride in being South African, ended with a bang at the Nasrec Expo Centre.

The campaign was launched last year to create a buzz ahead of Sunday's commemoration of the 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy.

The campaign was a joint venture by the Department of Arts and Culture, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Lead SA and Proudly SA.

Speakers at the celebrations recalled their stories of the 27 April1994 and South Africa’s journey towards prosperity and development.

“Looking back 20 years ago, we had no clue what we were trying to build, after the first elections, the journey had begun and still continues. Today South Africa is a better place to live in because of the sacrifices made,” Acting GCIS CEO Phumla Williams said.

She said celebrations for the 20 years of freedom should continue all year.

“But as South Africans we must not forget the support and the sacrifices our African brothers made for us during the struggle. We cannot celebrate our freedom without acknowledging their role,” she said.

Proudly South African CEO Leslie Sedibe said great strides had been made over the past 20 years and it was important for everyone to collectively celebrate and vote regardless of which political party one supports.

Lead South Africa CEO Yusuf Abramjee used his address to call on citizens to vote on May 7 and practice their democratic rights while continuing to share the South African story.

April 27 is observed annually to celebrate South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections of 1994, which also marked the end of white minority rule and the establishment of a new government led by Nelson Mandela.

The theme for the 2014 Freedom Month celebrations is "South Africa - a Better Place to live in. We have a good story to tell".

The public have been encouraged to also mark the last Freedom Friday, by sharing their thoughts, video clips, memories and pictures of freedom across various social media platforms, using the handles @20_yof and @ArtsCultureSA on Twitter and on Facebook.

While others are encouraged to show their pride by wear their colours and taking a "selfie" and uploading it to social media using the hashtag #FreedomFridaySelfie and/or #20YOFSelfie.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to give his keynote address during Freedom Day celebrations, which will be held at Union Buildings on Sunday. -  

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