20 years of freedom: A Rainbow Nation celebrates

South Africans in the Washington D.C. area have had a lot to celebrate this year. This May they witnessed the fifth post-apartheid democratic election and this April the 20th Freedom Day celebrations. Freedom Day is holiday that commemorates and celebrates the April 27th, 1994 elections, the first in which South Africans of all races could enjoy the right to vote.

Southern African Connection joined community members from other African countries (from Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and many others) and the U.S.A to celebrate the milestone moment. Viva! Celebrating a day early on Sunday, April 26th, the group gathered for a picnic at Great Seneca Park in Germantown, MD, danced to South African music, and enjoyed a great braai—fully equipped with boerewors and other favorites from home—on what turned out to be a perfectly sunny Spring day.  

Parci, Nando’s chicken mascot was not going to miss this event and was there to entertain children as they enjoyed other activities geared for them. Adults were thrilled by a raffle that included a round-trip ticket to Johannesburg or Cape Town, a 12 case box of South African wines, and, fittingly, a statue of the late Nelson Mandela.

The event was bittersweet as it was the first since the passing the man who symbolized the struggle and gave so much to see today become a reality; Madiba, the beloved father of a nation. The Freedom Day picnic offered an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the value of human rights and importance of self-determination.  

Visit our YouTube page to hear what attendees had to share with Southern African Connection.


By Thoko Kachipande for Southern African Connection

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