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The smell of braai meat, blaring music, clamorous green bottles and summer outfits as winter approaches. This is the new definition of Freedom Day … is this really why men and women laid down their lives? For this freedom?
Every year, I expect it to get better – every year it seems to get worse. All the while our generation desperately suffers from a high absence of involved fathers.
This week, we celebrate the right of franchise. A couple of days later, we will celebrate the worker who toils beyond belief. Is this freedom in our lifetime?
It is true that times have changed and so, too, have the struggles. Our generation shoulders plenty of criticism, so far as being labelled the “lost generation”.
Our predecessors threw stones at their oppressors for quality education – our youth loot street vendors to force education officials to resign… did I miss the tutorial into understanding this logic? We should hang our heads in shame for we have allowed many wrongs to be done on our watch.
We have begun to accept irresponsibility as norm, the issue of teenage parenting and occasional fathers – and mothers – should embarrass us.
To South Africans, every public holiday seems to be a reason to have a braai with a drink or two. We forget what each holiday symbolises.
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We forget that real families mourn real people who lost their lives for our freedom that we today take for granted. Nelson Mandela was right when he said “we are not yet free, we have merely achieved the freedom to be free.”
Our minds are still being held captive – this time, by ourselves.
It is not just the ordinary man to blame but so, too, a government that governs in a way so removed from its people that it can no longer see the disillusionment of its citizens. The hopelessness is a direct result of a government continuously failing to do right by its people, with history reminding it of its obligations.
We need to be doing more; we have dropped an important baton and we need to rectify it. These ever important holidays are so much more than parties. We need to celebrate those who fought for our freedom.