April 27th marked South Africa’s 21st annual Freedom Day. Across the nation each year, South Africans celebrate the day when democracy was established after decades of Apartheid. In those 21 years, South Africa grew into a thriving country that embraces diversity and culture. Although recent xenophobic actions by some marred that image to a degree, it must not be forgotten that the vast majority of the country supports equality for all.
From Cape Town to Johannesburg and everywhere in between, the nation celebrates its Freedom Day with several fun activities that aim to entertain and educate. Here are some of the ways South Africa celebrated this year, and what you may find if you are here for the 22nd celebration:
Festivals of Many Varieties
At Hout Bay Beach, you can find two very different festivals at hand. The Oranjefeest is a Dutch themed festival that strives for unity amongst all walks of life. Everyone should wear the traditional Dutch orange while participating in the flea market, beach sports and music from artists like The Rudimentals and Herman Bakker. If you are looking for a more food-centric day, the SA Cheese Festival in Stellenbosh features incredible cheeses of multiple varieties to try while learning some new recipes from its cooking demonstrations.
The Awesome Africa International Arts Festival on the iLembe District’s North Coast is a two-day festival held at multiple venues with events that include performers from across the globe of many genres. In addition to the festival, Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Dome hosted a slew of incredible gospel voices at the Soulful Sounds: Soul Revival Session show that featured pastor Marvin Sapp as a headliner. Meanwhile in Muldersdrift, the Nirox Sculpture Park amphitheatre played host to its own Freedom Day concert with acts like The Soil, Bongeziwe Mabandla, The Muffinz and Zenzi Makeba Lee.
Other Fun and Remembering Madiba
Cape Town’s Valley Brewery held a Meet the Brewers event, where partners Morne Uys and Pierre-Charl shared their brewing journey. The event featured beer tastings and food pairings for all beer and food lovers.
With an emphasis on the country’s most influential figure, Nelson Mandela, the film Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me played in Johannesburg. The film focuses on an imaginative letter to Madiba with interviews from influential figures like the Dalai Lama and Colin Powell that saw the change in South Africa first hand.