Avatar photo

Compiled by Devina Haripersad

New York joins SA in celebrating Freedom Day

The Nasdaq MarketSite, located at Times Square, displayed a digital billboard featuring a powerful quote from Nelson Mandela.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared 27 April 2023, as South Africa’s Freedom Day in the city of New York, while holding the brightly coloured South African flag up high at Bowling Green Park.

According to South African Tourism’s Head of Marketing and Comms in North America, Justin Barnette, the ceremony was attended by officials from South African Tourism and the South African Consulate-General New York and the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, along with New Yorkers from across the city.

ALSO READ: Freedom Day: Bittersweet reminder of past struggles, present woes

In attendance was Themba Khumalo, Acting CEO of South African Tourism, and Mzwanele Langa, Acting Consul General of South Africa in New York. Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, was also present.

The ceremony, Barnette explained, was accompanied by South African performers who provided dazzling entertainment, and remarks by Khumalo and Langa.

First democratic election

South Africa’s Freedom Day is a celebration of the country’s first democratic election, held on 27 April 1994, when Nelson Mandela became the country’s first Black and democratically elected president.

“On Freedom Day we commemorate our journey to freedom and democracy and pay tribute to the struggle heroes who fought for our country’s liberation. As South African Tourism we also reflect on the progress we have made toward promoting the sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans, as we strive to make tourism the leading economic sector in South Africa,” Khumalo said at the celebrations.

ALSO READ: Saudi Arabia’s Freedom Day message to Ramaphosa and SA

The event also marked the progress made in promoting sustainable economic and social empowerment for all South Africans. The celebration concluded with the singing of both the South African and American national anthems and the raising of both countries’ flags.

Nasdaq MarketSite

The Nasdaq MarketSite, located at 4 Times Square, also displayed a digital billboard featuring a powerful quote from Nelson Mandela’s 2002 speech at New York University, reminding people that the struggle for true and universal human emancipation still lies ahead, despite remarkable progress in expanding inclusion and social cohesion.

Khumalo expressed his gratitude to Mayor Adams for acknowledging South Africa’s history, culture, and global influence through his proclamation, and hoped that this day acts as a reminder of South Africa’s legacy and a celebration of its bright future.

Read more on these topics

Freedom Day New York South Africa

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits