Born-free absentees

2014-03-23 10:00

Reality check on Human Rights Day

St Marks High School learners


Clouds are orange, blue, grey, black and white. Life is also shaded in different colours.

Our days as teenagers are filled with the colour blue. We are happy and equal.

Sometimes the colour changes into grey when we realise how ignorant we are about one another, even at school.

It’s amazing to discover how little our peers know about our history, different cultures and lifestyles.

Human Rights Day is a day where we all celebrate our rights because South Africa was a country of tears, where apartheid created divisions among black, white, Indian and coloured.

Human Rights Day was held on a Friday. It is a day to commemorate what happened in Sharpeville in 1960, where a protest began over pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry dompasse with them whenever they travelled out of their designated home areas.

This day was officially declared a public holiday in 1994.

This year, we celebrate 20 years of being born-frees in South Africa. We say we are born-frees, but are we really free?

The way we act nowadays by abusing and violating rights given to us leaves much to be desired.

We say it is our right to receive education, but how many learners know the responsibility behind that right? Do we do our homework? Do we even have time for our books?

How do we celebrate this day? If you were someone who was killed or injured because of this day, would you appreciate the way people celebrate it nowadays?

We have to celebrate this day better than we do as born-frees because our hero, Nelson Mandela, made things happen for us.

As young people, we need a platform to address the true meaning of this day. Let us all respect and honour this day the way the youth of 1960 would have loved us to.

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