The year 2015 marks 21 years of freedom in South Africa. Therefore, we celebrate freedom and human rights. In 1996, South Africa passed the Constitution of South Africa which promotes freedom and rights. This Constitution is a blueprint that guides all South African citizens on how to live, and it also outlines rights that people have.

The concept of rights and freedom is set with the belief that everyone should be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness, and that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion or faith, gender, and nationality.

The word freedom means being able to do something without anyone forcing you or obliging you to do so. The words freedom and rights have a link to each other. This is because you cannot have freedom and not be able to exercise the rights. We have plenty of rights that are bestowed upon every individual. These rights are given to all people who are born, irrespective of race, gender, nationality, and religion or faith.

The right that is really important to me is the right to education. The right to education is the right that is bestowed upon every citizen of South Africa, irrespective of gender, race, and age. With this right, everyone can unlock a whole new world of possibilities to change our previous circumstances to the better. Using education as a tool, we can help shape South Africa to be a better living place for us all.

In South Africa, we are privileged to be given the right to education. We often see/hear almost every day on the news how girls all around the world are deprived the right to go to school to get an education. It’s appalling to hear African countries denying girls the right to go to school. I believe in the saying that says “when you teach a girl, you empower a village.”

Another right that I also like is the right to life. This is the most crucial right. The right is stipulated in South Africa’s Constitution of 1996. This right provides that no one should be killed/murdered. We saw the right being put into practice for the first time in the case of S v Mankwanyane, where the defendant was to be punished by the capital sentence. The court made the decision that the defendant has a right to life, even if the defendant was found guilty on charges of murder.

Another right that I love is the right to freedom of speech/expression. This is the right that allows people to say what is on their mind without being censored. A lot of people think this right is only to be practiced by politicians and the media, but this right can be exercised by all persons ( provided it is used in bona fide) regarding things that affect the leadership of South Africa.
The forth right that I like it’s the right to know.

This is the right that has to do with the leadership of South Africa, specifically how government spends tax money on our infrastructure, health facilities, and education. This right also goes on beyond that. It enables the citizens of South Africa to know whether government officials use tax the money for their own benefit. This is vital because we (the citizens of South Africa) know that the money is being put to good use to build and improve South Africa’s infrastructure.

Looking at the road that South Africa has travelled, it is indeed that South Africa has come of age. We have come so far to look back. South Africa is a place of unity, peace and restoration. Let’s unite to shape a better South Africa!