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What Freedom Day means to young people

The born-free generation shares with us what Freedom Day means to them.

FREEDOM Day 2023 marks the 29th anniversary of the first free elections post the Apartheid era. A few generations who were born to this freedom are now adults, and to them, this is a historical event they can read or learn about. Caxton Local Media talked to a few people who were born in the 21st century to hear from them what this day means and what they understand about it. This is what they had to say: 

Makabongwe Hlatshwayo (19)

Makabongwe Hlatshwayo.

“I think to me and most South Africans, Freedom Day is significant because it marks the end of over 300 years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela, and a new state subject to a new constitution. I am grateful that I did not have to experience reality before this day, and I am grateful for the opportunities we all have today.”

Also read: Investing in young people

Aphile Ntshangase (20)

Aphile Ntshangase.

“Freedom Day for me is the outcome of the many fights, attempts and rule-breaking that many generations of both young and old Black people had to go through. It is the result of the resilience and perseverance of a group of people who had a dream. Although equality will still be a work in progress due to generational poverty and white privilege, as a Black girl in 2023, I have so many more chances than even what my mother could ever dream of.

Awande Cane (19)

Awande Cane.

Freedom Day is a significant day that I honour – I am dedicated to the freedom and the heroes who fought for our country’s liberation. We are a democratic country today due to all the trials and tribulations they encountered. Though we still experience the aftereffects and political violence/injustice of Apartheid once in a while, I believe this will eventually dissolve one day. As we are close to marking approximately 30 years of democracy, I am wholeheartedly grateful for being a born-free, eligible for the right to vote.

Also read: ‘It is critical to upskill young people to be entrepreneurial’

Lucky Masinya (21)

Lucky Masinya.

Freedom Day is a day of celebration and reflection for South Africans.  It commemorates the freedom and democracy that many fought and sacrificed for and still continue doing till now. It is a reminder of the importance of human rights, democracy, and the need for unity and social justice in building a better future for all South Africans. This day signalled the beginning of a process of reconciliation. Healing took place but not as much as we thought it would, however, we are a nation that is a work in progress.


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