I am very aware that this song is from Sarafina, which is a movie that SABC (SA national channel) plays every year on Youth Day – 16 June, which is technically a different public holiday. I could not help myself. It is Freedom Day, the song lyrics are “Freedom is coming tomorrow” you see the correlation, right?
Today (27 April) is South Africa’s Day of Independence, unlike most countries around the world, we do not call it “independence day” we opted for Freedom Day. Why? I have no idea, I just like to assume being extra and kind of unique like that. For some reason I actually wanted to confirm what I was claiming, so I Googled List of National Independence Days
Turns out my claim is not that strong but strong enough. Albania calls it Flag Day, Bulgaria has Liberation Day, Croatia – Statehood Day. Cuba – Commencement of the Wars of Independence (WOW!), Kenya – Jamhuri Day. Of course others might just be simple translations in their nation’s language, but it still looked fancy to me.
Freedom day for us is best explained by this poem which I studied for my English Final literature paper in 2017. The poet is a South African named Mazisi Kunene. The First Day After The War would be the end of the Apartheid era, the end of oppression. I will just drop it here without saying anything more because I don’t want any English teachers marking me down on my poetry analysis (had enough after matric).
We are not exactly fully developed country. We might not always be holding hands with strangers. We still have many unresolved issues such as racism, gender-based violence, inequality etc. Above all, it is beautiful to see that we are fighting for the country that we want to be proud of and not just laying back like sitting ducks. I hope to live to see it come to pass.
I will close with this Mandela quote which seems to make sense for this moment right now, and every moment going forward.
Happy Freedom Day South Africa!!