An inside job
Big Issue|Issue 294
Yusuf Ganief, Executive Chairperson of Cape Town Festival and lead singer and manager of the music duo Desert Rose, invites us to join his journey in search of freedom.
YUSUF GANIEF

In 1994 we voted for our liberty as an oppressed people in the hope and faith that the world would change with the advent of “freedom”. Before 1994 we protested in many ways against an apartheid regime that disallowed us the liberty to love whom we wanted without getting arrested under the banner of the Immorality Act or the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.

We protested and stood as one to have the freedom to live wherever we wanted to. We voted to have the liberty to educate ourselves at an institute of our choice and to work for equal pay and equal opportunity. We protested the restrictions of movement so we could enjoy the freedom of swimming at a beach or eating at a restaurant of our choice.

Bob Marley’s lyrics “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” (Redemption Song) echoed through our downtrodden beings as they kept our hopes for freedom alive.

As a child I grew up in an environment where buses and trains were segregated, as were public toilets and even benches to rest on, and if you transgressed the “whites only” or “no-whites only” laws you could land in jail. It was an environment of degradation, institutionalised prejudice and condemned millions of South Africans to an incubator for lifelong low self-esteem, poverty consciousness and the illusion of “difference”.

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An inside job

Yusuf Ganief, Executive Chairperson of Cape Town Festival and lead singer and manager of the music duo Desert Rose, invites us to join his journey in search of freedom.

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A Question Of Liberty

While there is still much to be done to achieve true freedom for all South Africans, media veteran Ryland Fisher shares why we have reason to celebrate.

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Careful What You Wish For

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