The South African Embassy on 27 April 2018 hosted close to 200 guests in Lisbon, celebrating 24 years of Freedom during its Annual National Day. The event also honoured fallen heroes and liberation stalwarts, this year specifically Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Mandela, commemorating his 100th anniversary under the theme “Be the Legacy”, which was displayed in a dedicated exhibition at the event.

Ambassador Gaoretelelwe in her remarks reminded all of Madiba’s words: “Let us never be mindful of the terrible past from which we come, memory should not be used as a means to keep us shackled to the past in a negative manner rather as a joyous reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved.” However the Ambassador added that the country’s freedom remains incomplete without the economic emancipation of the majority of South Africans. Thus under the new leadership of President Ramaphosa and his Cabinet, Government has embarked on an ambitious new investment drive worldwide to ensure that this becomes an era of investment, growth, job creation and meaningful economic transformation.

On a lighter side, the event was celebrated with South African culture, music and dance, wines and juice and culinary favourites like boerewors and meats done in the typical “braai” style, biltong, koeksisters and a modern twist on the traditional milk tarts.

The highlight of the event was a celebration of South African and African dance by the Batoto Yetu Cultural and Youth Association’s dancers and percussionists.  This performance was the inspiration of South African choreographer Mandilakhe Gwashu, who during March 2018 provided successful traditional African dance workshops. Viva South Africa! Viva Africa!