Freedom by Afzal Moolla
Kate Perlioni & Olivia Leach
The shackles have been cast off.
People once squashed,
under the jackboot of Apartheid,
Free at last!
Freedom came on the 27th day in that April, 1994.
Freedom from prejudice.
From institutionalised racism.
From being relegated to second-class citizenship.
Freedom came and we danced.
We ululated as we elected
our revered Mandela.
President Nelson Mandela. Our very own beloved 'Madiba'.
Black and white and brown and those in-between,
All hues of this rainbow nation,
rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.
Today we pause.
The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,
on that 27th day of April,
18 years ago.
Today we dance.
Tears of joy and tears of loss.
Of remembrance and of forgiveness.
Of reconciliation and of memories.
Today we pause.
We acknowledge the tasks ahead.
Today we reaffirm,
that promise of freedom.
From eyes without promise.
Today we also wish to reflect
On unfulfilled promises
On the proliferation of greed.
On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.
Today we say
We will take back the dream.
We will renew the promise.
We will not turn away.
Today we pledge
To stand firm
To keep the pressure turned on
To remind those in the corridors of power,
that we the people need to savor the fruits of the tree of freedom.
And till that time,
when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,
We shall remain vigilant,
And we shall continue,
And to sing out loud,
"We shall overcome".
The effective use of pathos in this piece evokes a pity in its audience for those affected by apartheid but does not dwell in the sadness of its history but rather celebrates the overcoming of its system and the positive future there is to come with their newly elected president, Nelson Mandela.
Artistically, this work could be related to the star spangled banner as a beacon of continuous surety that the chains of unjust authority are broken.
In relation to Kaffir boy, this poem conveys the horror of apartheid in past tense, which was the same daily struggle that Johannes endured from day to day. Afzal Moolla is able to convey the universal appeal of equal opportunity for all, or freedom. The author makes it blatantly obvious that the poem speaks of freedom of the life of apartheid by the use of repetition. This poem also conveys the necessity to remember things of the past as a way to improve the future.