Freedom of movement; the dignity of work; the joys of travel and experiencing wide open spaces; the human interactions of friendship and of love beyond the four walls of home are all hard-won freedoms for South Africans. But in the past few weeks, the nation has had to put these aside.
Ahead of an important landmark in South Africa’s history — Freedom Day on April 27 — South African Tourism released a television advert that acknowledges the great sacrifices South Africans have made since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
This piece of communication honours all the South Africans who have given up their freedom to jealously guard the value of each South African life as our country’s greatest treasure. It inspires the many people that have the desire to walk freely, as well as the many travellers that are yearning to explore and enjoy the country once again, to continue to endure a little longer
Done in collaboration with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment, the advert calls upon the undeniable tenacity that South Africans have to triumph over turmoil in the same way that the late former President Nelson Mandela and all those who fought for freedom had to endure hardship for the greater good.
“South Africa’s history has always been important to tourism in this country, and in particular the story of our beloved global icon, Nelson Mandela. This year we celebrate Freedom Day under serious movement restrictions as we all try to contain and arrest the spread of the Coronavirus. While the tourism industry is one of the hardest-hit industries, this is a message of hope,” said Sisa Ntshona, chief executive of South African Tourism.
“We are particularly pleased to have collaborated with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment in this project. As solitude gives us time to realign priorities and set clear goals, this piece of communication also encourages of us to take this time to shut out what is out there and look within. Partnerships such as this one allow us to do this and more, together. When we recover from this pandemic, we hope all South Africans will continue to join efforts in rebuilding our industry and our economy so that we can all travel again,” added Ntshona.
Chief executive of The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, said: “Freedom Day has special significance this year. It comes at a time when Covid-19 is reminding us of how easy it is to take our basic freedoms for granted. And it is testing our courage in ways that we have not faced before. Now more than ever we need to be inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Let us remember Madiba’s wise counsel that every generation is given an opportunity to be great. This moment could be just such an opportunity. May we rise to the challenge,” said.
Anant Singh, chief executive of Videovision Entertainment, added: “As legacy partners of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we have made films celebrating Madiba’s legacy, which are even more significant today as we navigate Covid-19 and our recovery from it. Madiba’s words give us inspiration: ‘only through hardship, sacrifice and action can freedom be won’. These words arerelevant as we face our current day-to-day challenges. We are delighted to partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and South African Tourism to build on this legacy. Happy Freedom Day to all.”
South Africa has been in a lockdown period since March 27 2020 and although it was not an easy decision, it has been the only solution to contribute to flattening the curve and keep South Africans safe. The country was recently lauded by the World Health Organisation that has singled out the South African government’s meticulously crafted approach to keep its citizens safe as it continues to manage the impact of this pandemic.