27 April marks 26 years since the Republic of South Africa got their democracy. The reality is that we are in the middle of a pandemic, a global pandemic at that which makes it hard to celebrate freedom and to rethink about human rights as well as redefining what it is to be 'free'. Currently COVID-19 stats are sititng at 4 056 confirmed cases, 1 473 recovered cases and 87 deaths. Numbers, I know. Scary.
We're in day 32 and for most of us who are privileged enough to have a warm home, a stocked fridge and roof over our heads need to realize how lucky we are as for majority of South Africans that is not the case. This lockdown is a threat to their livelihoods and humanity. Township community members may live in households of up to 10 people in a 2 bedroom house, some women are constantly being antagonized and beaten are stuck with their abusers with no where to hide. As for children who are outcomes of poverty? They lack the infrastructure to continue with their studies because of factors such as loadshedding and e-based learning make it impossible because, let's face it e-learning requires:
1. an internet connection
2. a laptop or iPad
With these issues at hand it makes you wonder what is it really to be free? There is hope as post-pandemic society only means endless possibilities, invention and oppourtunities but, this can only be achieved from government cooperation. As the late Winnie-Madikizela Mandela once said:
"It is only when all black groups, join hands and speak with one voice that we shall be a bargaining voice which will decide its own destiny"
Evidently, this pandemic has also demonstrated how South African government indefinitely has the capabilities and infrastructure to implement plans and deliver promises. There is only one culprit that prevents that implementation process. That culprit is corruption. How do we move forward with emancipation from this plague of African corruption to a functioning economy and country? Voice. Demand. Action. That is freedom. Together we can as South Africans become the leading and exemplary nation of this continent. Africa is now and the future. Happy Freedom Day!