As we commemorate the anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves in Cape Town today, it is good to reflect on the sacrifice and the contribution of these great people who have come before us.
To display appreciation for their long suffering and what they did with their freedom after their long years of bondage.
It is good to remember but we must guard against us becoming slaves of our past history. It has become so common in our country to romanticise our past, to the extent that we seem paralysed in advancing the gains that we have achieved and building on it to make it better.
The enemy of true freedom is a slave mentality. Seventeen years into our new democracy we casually speak about our freedom but we are actually deeply rooted in the grips of that slave mentality.
Entitlement, mismanagement, corruption, self-interest, poor service delivery, moral degeneration are clear evidence of the spirit of oppression and slavery that dwells amongst us.
We rename cities and streets and airports after our esteemed liberation struggle heroes, and it is right that we restore these imbalances in our nation. But then we allow these renamed entities to degenerate into dirty backward places, with poor service delivery, that translates into little or no care and respect for the legacy of the icons that the places are renamed after.
This is the spirit of oppression and slavery that still dwells amongst us. But these ghosts can and should be laid to rest. It is very important that we remember where we come from.
That we remember our heritage and the legacy of those who have sacrificed for us. But it is most important that we respect the sacrifices that have been made for us in order for us to enjoy the freedom that we do today. And we can only enjoy and share this freedom if we are responsible with our freedom.
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