Freedom shouldn’t be just an F-word

2015-04-27 14:54

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Freedom Day is here again – and so are the speeches about where we’ve come from, the strides we’ve made and our common destiny. But what does it mean to ordinary folk who mark the days about when they last ate and for whom the next meal is a major milestone?

A recent encounter with an old man who can’t read to save his life reminded me that we haven’t turned the corner on illiteracy in our communities. Freedom certainly remains a dream for people who can’t even spell the word.

On this very day there are women with babies on their backs begging for food at every second street corner. There is no doubt they are hungry for freedom from starvation and many other ills that come with not having access to the most basic human needs.

There are countless housekeepers and other unfortunate workers who are forced to be on duty today without compensation for working on probably the one day on our calendar when even the least free should experience some degree of freedom. To add insult to injury, walking the dogs is also on the duty list. It’s a dog’s life indeed.

Our daily experiences are awash with examples of people enjoying various freedoms – writing this piece is one of them. But, we need to spare a thought for those for whom freedom remains just an F-word.

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