So today is local election day and I decided to cast my vote like all responsible citizens should. As I walked to the polling station I was honestly thinking it may have been a bad idea to have taken my girls along because in my mind I visualised these long queues. That vision couldn’t have been further from reality. The room was as empty as an unused grave. It took me all of three minutes to fill out two ballot papers. I’d like to think there are that many stations that at any given time there are a bare minimum of voters at the polls.
The Brits do love to queue and I’m sure there are many disappointed voters out there who dreamed of enjoying a popular pastime. As for me I’ve given myself a pat on the back for braving the pouring rain to put my X on a ballot paper. Funny how empowering that feels! It’s true though every vote does count.
South Africans celebrate freedom day today in remembrance of the first democratic and non-racial election in 1994 as well as the contribution of those who fought to bring political freedom to all. It does seem like a lifetime away right now but I do remember the atmosphere and excitement around the time.
We have our political freedom but are we truly free? Freedom is more than political and somewhere along the line the rights of citizens to enjoy social freedoms has been drastically diminished. While we now have freedom to live where we want, educate our kids where we want and my personal favourite is to swim in whatever beach we choose. Somehow our freedom of movement is limited.
How much longer will our beautiful country be referred to as a young democracy? As freedom day is celebrated my prayer is that those in power would find a way forward for us to be truly free in our country. From the city to the farms people should be free from fear and intimidation. South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
Like Martin Luther King I have a dream too. I dream of a South Africa where we will be truly free because if we’re not free to enjoy the vast beauty of our land then I’m sad to say we are mere prisoners. Let freedom reign!