25 April 2014
South Africans will celebrate Freedom Day with a specially commissioned new song and dance, which will be performed for the first time during the official event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday.
President Jacob Zuma will make a special address at the event, which will also include a multi-cultural carnival, a South African Air Force salute flight and air display, a South African Airways fly-past and a free afternoon programme of music and dance.
The Department of Arts and Culture has appointed renowned choreographer and dancer Somizi Mhlongo to create the Freedom Dance, which will be performed live by Mhlongo and his fellow dancers as part of the formal morning programme on Sunday.
“The dance is inspired by various high points in the past 20 years and includes the dance moves of the iconic late former president Nelson Mandela as well as encompassing his raised fist after his release, thobela dance moves and others,” the department said in a statement on Friday.
The video of a special new song will also be played during Sunday’s celebrations. “The song is a re-work of the Peace Song penned by the legendary Sello Chicco Twala and accompanied by younger artists,” the department said, adding that the refrain of the song, “South Africa, we love you, our beautiful land”, was as relevant and inspiring today as it was two decades ago.
Sunday’s events will begin with interfaith prayers at Freedom Park outside Pretoria, followed by a cultural street parade starting in Sunnyside, Pretoria at around 7am and leading into the south lawns of the Union Buildings at around 9.30am, after which the formal programme will commence.