Freedom!
The shackles have been cast off.

Chains broken.
People once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.
Free at last!

Freedom came on the 27th day in that April, 1994.
Freedom from prejudice.

From institutionalised racism.

From being relegated to second-class citizens.
Freedom came and we danced.
We cried.
We ululated as we elected

our revered Mandela.
President Nelson Mandela. Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.
Black and white and brown and those in-between,

All hues of this rainbow nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.
Today we pause.

We remember.

We salute.
The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

23 years ago.
Today we dance.

We sing.

We ululate.

We cry.
Tears of joy and tears of loss.

Of remembrance and of forgiveness.

Of reconciliation and of memories.
Today we pause.
We acknowledge the tasks ahead.

The hungry.

The naked.

The destitute.
Today we reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.
From want.

From hunger.

From eyes without promise.
Today we also wish to reflect

On unfulfilled promises

On the proliferation of greed.

On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.
Today we say
We will take back the dream.

We will renew the promise.

We will not turn away.
Today we pledge

To stand firm

To keep the pressure turned on

To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people need to savor the fruits of the tree of freedom.
And till that time,

when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,
We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.
And we shall continue,

to struggle.
And to sing out loud:

“We shall overcome”.

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