Celebrating 24 years of equality

Celebrating 24 years of equality

Two people born in the same city, with similar families, the same educational background, the same tastes and physical and intellectual abilities … but unable to attend the same places or marry each other. The difference between them? The color of their skin.

Today, Friday 27 April, is not just the celebration of South Africa’s national holiday, it is also the date that commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held in the country. They were the first elections since 1948 in which everybody over 18 years of age could vote in South Africa, regardless of the color of their skin or whether they’d been born in another country.

Freedom Day is a commemoration of liberty and a rejection of segregation and inequality for reasons of ethnicity or race.

To better grasp the importance of this day, we drafted a small infographic with some basic information to look back at what the end of Apartheid meant and to remember the figure of Nelson Mandela, who played a prominent role in bringing the conflict to an end.

How can South Africans spend Freedom Day and recall the historic struggle? Our colleagues at Fluidra Waterlinx have come up with some recommendations:

    • Hike around Robben Island
    • Explore Soweto(South Western Townships), one of South Africa’s prime cultural hubs and an emblem of the fight against racial inequality.
    • Visit Franschhoek, a small town close to Cape Town which boasts some of the South Africa’s finest restaurants.
    • Check out the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
    • Take part in the South Africa Festival.
    • Visit Liliesleaf Farm, a settlement known for being a safe house for many of the activists in the fight against racial segregation.
    • Take part in the South Africa Festival.
    • Visit Howick, the place where Nelson Mandela was captured, and admire the sculpture erected there.
    • Spend time in Sandton and visit Nelson Mandela Square.

If this celebration strikes you as interesting and has encouraged you to learn more about the racial struggle in the country, we’ve selected a list of films that address the topic:

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, we wanted to remember part of Mandela’s 1994 address to the South African parliament after becoming president of the country:

 “As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1994, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. And so we assemble here today, and in other parts of the country, to mark a historic day in the life of our nation. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future.” (Nelson Mandela, 1994)

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