It is April 27th: Freedom Day!!!! It sounds very contradictory: Freedom Day in the lockdown. And yet it makes sense. I just did not know how many times I saw INVICTUS (if you don’t know him yet: have a look !!!!). The film, with Clint Eastwood as director and Morgan Freeman in the leading role as Nelson Mandela, touched me again. This country and its people touched me again today.
Like almost every day, I handed out parcels and meal vouchers, encouraged people and, with Sindi and the kitchen angels, they laughed and heard how much support our President has now received from the general public … … and rightly so. He is smart, has humour and is brave. The measures taken are not always accessible to everyone, but he had and has the courage to take them. He cannot do anything about the fact that the country was financially ruined by his predecessor, but he now has to fix it under extreme conditions.
April 27, 1994 was the day of the first free election in South Africa and Nelson Mandela won it. This is celebrated every year. Less today. We are not allowed to celebrate.
Last Friday our new president announced that we would move from phase 5 to phase 4 on May 1st, which means that we would be getting a little more freedom. This is despite the fact that the number of infected people is gradually increasing. Hout Bay now has 22 tested positive. However, with his honesty, clarity and uncompromising attitude Ramaphosa has managed to create solidarity and he has managed to get many people here in South Africa to feel the charisma of Mandela in a president for the first time and to begin to trust him.
26 years later, Mandela’s inaugural speech is still very inspiring, comforting and helpful and oh so true:
“… Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. “
We make it!!!! We have faced hotter fires. We can do it with your help!