25 April 2014
Wearing South African regalia and waving national flags, hundreds of members of the public, including school learners, joined in celebrating the last Freedom Friday at the Rand Show in Johannesburg on Friday.
Adorned in pins and badges of the South African flag, Joy Chauke said Freedom Fridays have been a great platform for mobilising 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,” Chauke told SAnews at the event to mark the final Freedom Friday before the country’s celebration of Freedom Day on Sunday. “We have come far as a country, and the future has endless possibilities.”
The campaign, which encouraged people to wear anything on Fridays that expressed their pride in being South African, ended with a bang at the Nasrec Expo Centre, with speakers recalling their stories of 27 April 1994 and South Africa’s subsequent journey.
“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,” Phumla Williams, acting chief executive of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said. “Today South Africa is a better place to live in because of the sacrifices made.”
Williams said the celebration of the country’s 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.”
Proudly South African CEO Leslie Sedibe said great strides had been made over the past 20 years, and that it was important for everyone to collectively celebrate, and vote in the upcoming election regardless of which political party one supported.
Lead South Africa CEO Yusuf Abramjee used his address to call on citizens to practice their democratic right and vote on 7 May while continuing to share the South African story.
South Africans are also encouraged to show their pride, wear their colours, take a selfie and upload it to social media using the hashtag #FreedomFridaySelfie and/or #20YOFSelfie.