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April 27, 2013

Happy Freedom Day!

City Hall will host a Freedom Day Concert. Photo courtesy Clive Reid

Nineteen years ago today, South Africa began voting in its very first free and fair elections. On April 27, 1994, millions of people, many of whom had never been allowed to cast their vote under South Africa's apartheid rule, went to the polls for the first time.

The run-up to the elections had been plagued by violence, threats of civil unrest and much uncertainty about South Africa's ability to hold peaceful, democratic elections.

However, on the morning of April 27, much of that uncertainty was put to rest as South Africans woke up to the sight of long lines of people queuing to cast their vote.

Television images showed queues snaking up and down neighbourhoods. In total, more than 19-million votes were cast over three days. In the face of fear and uncertainty, there was a great sense of camaraderie and community in those voting queues, where South Africans of all colours and backgrounds were united in the common goal of participating in a democratic nation.

April 27 is now a public holiday in South Africa. Known as Freedom Day, it serves as a reminder of our first democratic election, and celebrates the hard-won freedom we have enjoyed since. It is a chance for South Africans to celebrate that freedom together.

There are a number of events happening in Cape Town today. However you choose to spend it, enjoy Freedom Day!

Hunger for Freedom Dinner – Spier Wine Estate, 7pm

Dr Anna Trapido, chef and author of Hunger For Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela, will be presenting a 12-course tasting menu based on the book. Guests will enjoy a gastro-political journey through the various stages of Madiba’s life, which will highlight the meaning of food to our former president. Tickets cost R320 per person. To book, call +27 (0)21 809 1100.

City Hall Sessions Freedom Day Concert

As part of the City Hall Sessions series, South African composer and jazz pianist Paul Hanmer, jazz saxophonist McCoy Mrubata and Mozambican ethnomusicologist, saxophonist and producer Moreira Chonguica will provide a soulful soundtrack to your Saturday. Tickets available via Computicket.com.

The 4Leaf Freedom Day FamFest

Enjoy an afternoon with friends and family at the inaugural Freedom Day FamFest at the Claremont Cricket Club fields in Constantia. With a child-minded Kids' Zone, Teen Zone and main stage providing music and entertainment for young and old, there's plenty for everyone. There will be food stalls offering traditional and homemade foods, and a fully stocked bar. The festival closes with an open-air cinema screening of a classic family movie, ET the Extra-Terrestrial. Tickets available via Quicket.co.za.

For more weekend events, read 'Your Cape Town Weekend: things to do from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April, 2013'.

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