This is a frank and sincere blog post from a reader who asked us to publish his plea from the heart to all South Africans this Freedom Day…

By Eric Shikobela

The first time I visited Freedom Park, I had mixed emotions about freedom. I was disturbed by the mindset of the oppressor and the inhumanity within it. Hard to process how a fellow human being can do this to another, I thought to myself.

But at the same time I was touched and humbled by the courage and sacrifices made by selfless leaders who were ordinary South Africans. I was proud of where we are, who we are, and what we stand for.

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I wasn’t certain if I wanted to be involved in politics, but I was certain that I must also make a difference in life. I should return the gift I got to the next generation, by making things better and easier for them. At that point I knew and understood that we all have to contribute to making our country a better place for all.

Today, after 24 years of democracy, I don’t have mixed emotions anymore

Because emotions come from the heart. But I’m now concerned and confused. And confusion happens in the mind. Because the very same people and organisation that I greatly respected for what they stood and fought for, have now become the enemy of progress, stability and equality for many South Africans.

They defend their poor and corrupt governance by playing the ‘blame game’.

Yes, the effects of the Apartheid regime are still in South Africa until this day. But we will be ignorant and foolish to believe that all the problems our nation faces today are mainly caused by apartheid, after 24 years of freedom.

We will be ignorant and foolish to believe that all the problems our nation faces today are mainly caused by apartheid, after 24 years of freedom

Freedom should be celebrated by everyone without thinking twice

Despite the challenges we are faced with today, we have to agree that today is better than yesterday. And tomorrow should be greater than today.

And the responsibility of every South African, is to contribute with humility to make our blessed and beautiful nation a better place.

We can’t keep on dwelling in the past, for the future will always be better than the past. We can’t change the past, but we can definitely change the future. [Whether] you agree or not, that’s a fact.

If we really love our country, we should stop pointing fingers and start taking responsibility

Some genuine remorse, some genuine forgiveness will give birth to a genuine rainbow nation. We should mainly oppose racism from every angle, because is still the side effects of racism that hold us back today.

Let us all unite in strength to create initiatives that will create employment and empowerment for every hard-working South African. We should be the change we wish to see this capable nation. We should have a dialogue to tackle issues that create a wall between South Africans – by so doing we will be embarking on a journey for a genuine reconciliation.

United we have a stronger voice of hope…

…a fair voice of hope for all. Enjoy Freedom Day on 27 April, but keep on reflecting on where we come from as a nation, and where we are going.

About the author

Eric Shikobela is an aspiring social and political consciousness author, who has just finished penning his first book, The Invisible Victories. The book will be soon hitting bookstores across SA.