What crazy things would the Apartheid government have done to the freedom of the internet had it existed back then?
Who gives a damn!
Ha! Today they aren’t around, and the power & freedom of the internet is.
Today you tweet, blog, email, facebook and youtube your political thoughts without fear from deceptive prosecution.
Today you are friends with who you are friends with because of who the friend is, not because of what criteria the government dictates.
Today a politician goes bos in tyrannical ways and your fellow citizens make a catchy house remix from his rant.
This weekend two people showed their love & commitment to each other by getting married… and they were homosexual, of mixed cultures, or of any other once-forbidden criteria.
You turned on the tv and were not presented with the same advert in various races.
Children learnt that their language of Pedi is as valued as any of the other ten official languages in a free country.
You got onto your feet and walked where you wanted to.
You spoke to who you wanted to.
You applied for any job you wanted.
And you fought for that job with all other South Africans who also dreamed of that job.
You bought booze/ boerewors/ postage stamps from the same counter as every other South African.
Your rights as a homeless person were as respected as the rich folk with a mansion in Sandhurst. And you voted like any other citizen.
You shagged a person you were attracted to. Who once was forbidden to your group.
You danced with a person you found fun & crazy. Who once was forbidden to your group.
More than 20 of you congregated in a room.
No one slipped on some soap in a prison cell.
Today you read a South African novel that wasn’t an analogy for political racist overpowering.
Today corruption was exposed. And addressed.
A politician of the leading party apologised to his people for being arrested because it was found he still had too much alcohol in his bloodstream.
Today sports teams recalled their international game played over the weekend.
A journalist wrote a scathing attack on something the government did. And someone in the audience wrote something more scathing in response. The secret police were not called out.
Today a community took to the streets in protest that their services were not arriving. They shouted their voice. They claimed their space. And freely demanded their rights.
Today I listened to a song in Afrikaans, a song in Sotho, a song in English from another continent. I wore clothes designed by a South African-educated person. And wore jewellery given to me by a Zimbabwean also seeking his welfare in the “America of Africa”.
You bought a car that you worked for and your job paid you well enough for.
A school textbook was written and none of the lines were blacked out.
And people complained. Complained like they had forgotten what a gift ‘Freedom’ is. Complained like they have been free for so long that their comfort might make them forget. Lucky them.
Happy Freedom Day, South Africa.