Mashatile set to launch Freedom Fridays

Friday, September 20, 2013
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg -  Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has arrived at South Africa’s most famous street, Vilakazi Street, in Soweto, to launch the Freedom Fridays campaign, which officially marks the countdown to the 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy in the country.

The inspirational campaign is being launched at Sakhumzi Restaurant, a stone’s throw away from the old house of former President Nelson Mandela.

Next year, South Africa will celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Freedom Fridays is a call to all South Africans to take pride in their nation and celebrate the road they have travelled since 1994.

The initiative is fashioned after the inspirational Football Fridays campaign that united South Africans behind the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2011 Magnificent Fridays campaign which mobilise South Africans to support the country's national cricket, rugby and netball World Cup squads.

On Freedom Fridays, South Africans can wear anything that expresses their pride in being a South African; including colours of the national flag, traditional attire, soccer or rugby team jerseys and anything that reflects unity towards the 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy celebrations.

In celebrating the important landmark in the country’s history, government has encouraged every South African to participate in activities organised by their sector, organisation or business.

These activities will culminate in the Freedom Day celebration on 27 April 2014, where collectively, South Africans will say: “We have come a long way”.

The four-roomed Mandela house also stands as a monument, reminding the nation about the perilous past, but also reminding them about the power of reconciliation and nation building.

The house is also situated next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house in Vilakazi Street, as well as the Regina Mundi church and Morris Isaacson High School where the 1976 student uprising began.

All this makes Orlando West a significant precinct that people should visit in order to understand the history of the anti-apartheid movement. -

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