It has been nearly three decades since South Africa became a democracy, and many wonder what we have done in the years of freedom after the momentous election of 1994, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said at the launch of a new podcast series, FreedomAfter, on 26 April 2023.
On 27 April each year, South Africa marks Freedom Day, commemorating the first day of the country’s inaugural democratic elections. The FreedomAfter podcast series is the first from the Foundation to be carefully and artistically edited, with an original score by Sibusile Xaba noThingo.
FreedomAfter explores what freedom was actually achieved by people in South Africa, and what freedom still needs to be achieved. The 1994 election led to Nelson Mandela becoming the country’s first democratically elected president at his inauguration on 10 May 1994. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Madiba’s passing, and this podcast is released in honour of his memory and the legacy Nelson Mandela left behind.
“During the struggle, it was clearer to identify what South Africa’s political horizon needed to be. It was democracy, it was to end apartheid, get the National Party out of power and bring democracy to South Africa. But what about now? The FreedomAfter podcast was developed as qualitative research that explores what the master narrative of freedom is for contemporary South Africa,” says the Foundation’s narrative development manager, Kneo Mokgopa.
In this podcast, the Foundation speaks with poet and author Maneo Mohale; artist Siyabonga Mthembu; community leader and author Kelly-Eve Koopman; traditional healer Vuyiswa Xekatwane; veteran activist Mark Heywood; acclaimed actor Mpume Mthombeni; feminist and author Karen Hurt; as well as law professor Tshepo Madlingozi.
The series will be released in tranches, with three episodes launched on 26 April 2023, and more to come over the following months.
In the series, the Foundation asks its interviewees what freedom they have gained since 1994, and what freedoms they and the people of South Africa are still fighting for. Through FreedomAfter, we want to explore the history of freedom in South Africa to understand our current political and ideological fault lines. The Foundation also views the series as a resource for the public that can be used to inspire and develop the fight for freedom.
The podcast series is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, the Nelson Mandela Foundation website and many other podcast sites.