10 December 2020 marks 24 years since the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was signed into law in Sharpeville, Vereeniging, by our first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.
We at Constitution Hill are inspired on this occasion by the efforts of ordinary people who have used our Constitution as a catalyst for change and progress. Despite the difficulties we have experienced over the past 24 years as a constitutional democracy, what remains clear is that the people have refused to abandon hope and have resisted writing South Africa off when many others have.
In honour of our constitutional journey over these 24 years, we have produced 27 limited-edition postcards that bear the words of the Preamble to the Constitution together with an illustration of each of the 27 rights protected in our Bill of Rights, specially designed by these talented young illustrators:
- Sindiso Nyoni
- Balekane Legoabe
- Nina Torr
- Ndumiso Nyoni
- Octavia Roodt
- Zinhle Zulu
- Khayalethu Mtshali
The limited-edition postcards will be available at Constitution Hill for those who mark the special day by visiting this heritage site dedicated to telling the story of the Constitution. As part of the commemoration, entry to Constitution Hill will be free from 10 December 2020 until 10 January 2021. Due to Covid-19 protocols, members of the public are encouraged to book on Webtickets – click here or mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The artwork that appears on our commemorative postcards was developed for our online exhibition on the making of the South African Constitution, titled Our Struggle, Our Freedom, Our Constitution. We spent months working with our talented illustrators to interpret each right as they saw it creatively and to convey their meaning considering the struggle behind each and every right. What we also convey in our exhibition is that the Bill of Rights does not have a hierarchy of rights – no one right is more important than the others. Instead, all 27 can each be seen as part of an interconnected constellation. To learn more about each right, visit the exhibition at https://ourconstitution.constitutionhill.org.za/south-africas-constitution/our-constitution-explained/twenty-seven-rights-explained/.
On the reverse side of each postcard appear the words of the Preamble to the South African Constitution, written in the official Face of the Nation font of the Constitutional Court. The words of the Preamble articulate the vision of the transformed South Africa we should all be working to achieve. The Preamble is our North Star and if we want to live up to its ideals we need make the Constitution our lived reality, rather than words on parchment. To learn more about the battle behind each and every word of the Preamble, visit https://ourconstitution.constitutionhill.org.za/the-preamble-line-by-line/.
The talented Ndlovu Youth Choir has also joined in celebrating our Constitution by lending their voices to a stirring rendition of the Preamble to the Constitution, which will be played across several radio stations and will also be shared on selected online media platforms.
We will also be sharing 24 key moments in the journey of the making of the Constitution, which will be shared on the following social media platforms:
- We the People-SouthAfrica on Facebook and Twitter
- @constitutionhill on Instagram
To explore in depth the story behind the making of our Constitution, visit our online exhibition, Our Struggle, Our Freedom, Our Constitution: www.ourconstitution.constitutionhill.org.
As we head into 2021, the 25th year of the Constitution, we are planning various exciting initiatives to: inspire a proud, knowledgeable and creative people by making the Constitution and its history accessible to all; promote informed dialogues about our past, present and future; and encourage people to take greater action towards building trust in our constitutional democracy.