Against an exciting backdrop of music and dance, New York City Mayor Eric Adams raised the brightly colored South Africa flag high above Bowling Green Park as he proclaimed April 27, 2023, South Africa’s Freedom Day in the city of New York.
Joined by officials from South African Tourism and the South African Consulate-General New York and the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, Mayor Adams marked South Africa’s annual Freedom Day with a proclamation that spoke of South Africa’s rich history and global contributions at the ceremony that was attended by New Yorkers from across the city.
Throughout the ceremony South African performers provided dazzling entertainment while Themba Khumalo, Acting CEO of South African Tourism, and Mzwanele Langa, Acting Consul General of South Africa in New York, brought inspiring remarks. Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, presented Mayor Adams with a gift on behalf of the country before the event concluded with the singing of the two country’s national anthems and the raising of both the South African and American flags.
Much like America's Fourth of July celebrates the birth of American independence, South Africa’s Freedom Day is a celebration of the country’s first democratic election. Held on April 27,1994, that election saw Nelson Mandela become the country's first Black and democratically elected president.
“We thank Mayor Adams for acknowledging South Africa’s history, culture and global influence through his proclamation, and we hope this day acts as a reminder of South Africa’s legacy and a celebration of its bright future,” said Acting CEO of South African Tourism Themba Khumalo. “On Freedom Day we commemorate our journey to freedom and democracy and pay tribute to the struggle heroes who fought for our country’s liberation. As South African Tourism we also reflect on the progress we have made toward promoting the sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans, as we strive to make tourism the leading economic sector in South Africa.”
As well as the celebrations at Bowling Green, the seven-story Nasdaq MarketSite, located at 4 Times Square (West 43rd St. and Broadway), hosted a digital billboard featuring a powerful quote from Nelson Mandela’s 2002 speech at New York University. The quote reminded us that although society has made remarkable progress in expanding inclusion and social cohesion, “the struggle for true and universal human emancipation still lies ahead.”
In 2024 South Africa will celebrate 30 years of democracy. South African Tourism invites travelers who are ready to re-ignite their passion for humanity to visit South Africa for a vacation experience that will leave them feeling inspired, enriched and rejuvenated.
Photo Caption: South African Tourism celebrates Freedom Day on the seven-story Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square (Photo Credit: Nasdaq)