Celebs raise their voices on Freedom Day

Madeegha Anders. Picture: Phando Jikelo

Madeegha Anders. Picture: Phando Jikelo

Published Apr 27, 2024


Cape Town - Happy Freedom Day, Mzansi!

South Africa marks Freedom Day on April 27, the day on which the first post-apartheid elections were held in 1994 , where all races and people over the age of 18 could cast their votes for the first time.

This special day also introduced a new Constitution to the nation and has been commemorated annually since.

We asked local celebrities what significance the day has for them.

Radio host and media personality Tyrone Paulsen, currently visiting China, says the visit has made him reflect on how much he appreciates Freedom Day:

“It’s a special day for many reasons, firstly it’s my late mom’s birthday and it was on this day in 1994 as an 18-year-old, I got to queue with thousands of people in Mitchells Plain and the rest of South Africa to cast my first vote in our first democratic election.

“All this has allowed me 30 years later to be able to write this quote while sitting on a train travelling China with a group of South Africans from different cultures. It’s a day I will continue to celebrate, as it reminds me of the freedoms we now have.”

Tyrone Paulsen on a train in China. Picture: Supplied

ON STAGE: Artist Madeegha Anders performed. Photo: Phando Jikelo

Musician Madeegha Anders said: “I can now sing in places where I can headline. Places like the Artscape or the Baxter Theatre were closed off to us in the apartheid era.

“When we performed District Six The Musical, we had to break down barriers to get that going – we were the first ‘coloured’ musical to go in there (theatre).

Bobby Brown. Picture: Supplied

Magic828 AM Breakfast Show presenter Bobby Brown said: “Freedom Day to me means the opportunity to choose. Having the agency of free choice to determine your own destiny is the natural human condition. Freedom should always be an inherent part of who we are as a species.

“It’s good to remember the darkness that we come from and that shaped who we are. But it’s also prudent to realise our freedom is incomplete and we need to continue forging ahead to experience its full meaning. We still need to shatter the chains of our economic bondage.”

Jarrad Ricketts. Picture: Supplied

Singer Jarrad Ricketts: “Freedom is having the platform and opportunity to live an authentic life, being able to go out and explore all the possibilities without being curbed because of the colour of my skin.

“It’s a day that reminds me of everything we have endured as a country to get to this point, while acknowledging that there is still so much more work to be done.”

Grandmaster Ready D. Picture: Supplied

Grandmaster Ready D: “Freedom Day is a day of remembering a dark bloody apartheid past and sacrifices people have made for us to get a sense of freedom in South Africa.

“This day must motivate us to ensure our country and children never experience racial and economic injustice. We also need to become more active as citizens in holding this government accountable for its shortcomings.”

Jawaahier Petersen. Picture: Supplied

Suidooster actress Jawaahier Petersen: “Freedom is exactly that: the freedom to own my name and feel like I belong, to express my religion without fear of prejudice,to love who I want and be in places and spaces that I want to be in. The prerogative of choice in places of learning and choose a career that I want to be.”

Jamie-Lee Domburg. Picture: Supplied

Radio presenter Jamie-Lee Domburg: “It’s a day to honour resilience, celebrate progress, and renew our commitment to equality and justice. We are still continuing to fight the good fight, but on days like today we are reminded of how far we have come and how much work still needs to be done in this beautiful country.”

Juliet ‘Jules’ Harding. Picture: Supplied

Juliet Harding, lead vocalist of Goodluck, shares her sentiments on Freedom Day: “It is a reminder of all the incredible people who sacrificed and went through so much to liberate our country and make it a free country for all who live in it.

“It's a remembrance of those incredible humans like Nelson Mandela, but also, it's a reminder as a musician that we have a great responsibility to help people understand that they have the choice to be free now.

“A lot of our captivity is from feeling fearful and feeling like we can’t do something and it's all kind of locked in our heads. But as a musician, you have the power to show people that most of the fear you can overcome and you can choose to live a life that is free.”

Terry Fortune. Picture: Supplied

Award-winning thespian Terry Fortune said: “Its a reminder of the many who fought for equally, justice and freedom, and that we are the keepers and the protectors of those principles.”

Weekend Argus

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