Reflections on Freedom Month 2022

Annually, South Africa observes April as Freedom Month. The month is a call to reflect on the country’s painful apartheid past and celebrate its journey toward freedom. The experiences of everyday South Africans in the past two years have forced us to reflect on our democracy and notions of freedom. The pieces in this dossier challenge the reader to reflect honestly on the journey toward democracy and our daily realities. Nadine Dirks’ reflection on indigenous land, heritage and ownership looks at the promise of freedom for indigenous people and the theft of their land in the 21st century. “Accidental” mental health activist Christine Nxumalo reflects on the senseless death of her sister Virginia Machpelah in the Life Esidimeni tragedy and her journey to seek justice and dignity in death for her sister. Ling Sheperd reflects on the multiple truths of freedom and says that freedom in South Africa is not absolute. Vivienne Mentor-Lalu provides us a feminist analysis that reflects on the impact of Covid-19 on women in South Africa.