Celebrate the 20-year Anniversary of South Africa's Freedom Day with Manifesto at Hot Docs!
Nelson Mandela became a free man two years after I was born on February 11th, 1990. By this time, my parents had already left the Apartheid-riddled country and found peace in Toronto for almost a decade. In the four years that followed his release, Mandela worked vigorously with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish Apartheid, leading up to the first multi-racial democratic election to take place in South Africa in 1994. In an overwhelming win, the African National Congress came into power, and Nelson Mandela became the first black President of a country previously riddled by laws and regulations that didn’t even allow black people to vote. Although I was 6, and not quite aware of what this victory really meant, I knew when everybody else was shouting and yelling across the phone-lines, something big happened. At a time when democracy became a synonym for freedom, April 27th, 1994 marked the first day all people in South Africa, regardless of a hierarchy based on race and class, were deemed free people.
"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world," marked the words Nelson Mandela said on May 10th in Pretoria shortly after his presidency was declared.
For this reason, April 27th of every year is known as Freedom Day in South Africa. This year, the South African community is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of many firsts that happened on April 27th. We celebrate April 27th as the first day of post-Apartheid South Africa, where everyone is considered an equal. We celebrate the “Rainbow Nation”, a term respectively coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu a month after Mandela came into power to reflect a racial unity. We celebrate South Africa’s current flag, which reflects a union between the past and the present: black, green and yellow to represent the ANC and red, white, blue and green to reflect South Africa’s history of colonization. And lastly, we celebrate April 27th as a day of healing the past and celebrating a promised future.
"Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa," Nelson Mandela said in Cape Town on May 9th, 1994. Twenty years later, South Africa has had its share of ups and downs since that first democratic election. It has had its fair share of successes and heartaches, most recently with the passing of the always-remembered Nelson Mandela. But if there's one thing we take with us year to year at this time, it's these words from the late Madiba:
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
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Manifesto x Hot Docs DOCUMENTAL selection Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me makes it North American Premiere on Saturday, April 26 at Hart House Theatre at 9:30pm as part of the 2014 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
Come celebrate with Manifesto the evening before the 20-year Anniversary of South Africa's Freedom Day!
Manifesto has specially priced $10 tickets available for this screening. Simply select the April 26 screening from the documentary profile page, enter the discount code "HDDOCUMENTAL14" and complete the purchase. Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me profile page can be found here >>> http://bit.ly/1lTrzaZ
We hope you can join us!
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On Thursday, May 1 join the F-YOU Project as they unite with Desmond Tutu to help the world start the process of forgiveness. The Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge will launch on May 4, and this event with F-YOU at City Hall at 6pm on May 1 will celebrate the kick-off of this global forgiveness movement in Toronto.
For more information about this event contact Tara Muldoon at: firstname.lastname@example.org