In celebrating our freedom, Pavadai believes viewing liberation through the lens of spirituality becomes paramount. “Freedom Day is twofold for me: It reminds me of the terrible past we come from as a people, but also reminds me of how I should celebrate the great possibilities that societal freedom brings,” she says.
She does, however, warn of the distinctive line between societal and spiritual freedom. In enjoying our societal freedom, we should also ensure that we do not remain prisoners of our own minds.
“Today, after 27 years of freedom for our nation, I can live wherever I want to, stay in any hotel I like, eat in any restaurant I want; but does that outer freedom make me feel free in my own mind, in my own being?”
Equally, in looking at the spiritual significance of Freedom Day, Dr Hadebe believes that it redefined our spiritual identity as God’s people. “God does not support oppression. All human beings were created equally and with equal dignity. When that spirituality found root in the heart of our leaders, they were able to rise up and say that we were not created to be oppressed. It was the spirituality of justice and integrity that gave people the sense that our lives matter.
“We have been called to freedom, which is characterised by love, kindness, goodness, justice. When we live according to those values, we are truly free,” says Dr Hadebe.