Nelson Mandela Foundation

Freedom After Fb Cover

Is freedom a universal concept, or do language and politics invent it? Is freedom here different from freedom there? Is freedom a permanent state of being or is it a specific experience? What kind of relationship exists between freedom and constraint? Is there such a thing as Black freedom? And white freedom? Does white freedom rely on Black unfreedom? How does the constitution imagine freedom? Can we make freedom, or does freedom make us? 

It has been more than two decades since South Africa became a democracy, and many wonder what we have done ‘After Freedom’ - how much freedom has actually been achieved, what needs to be done to gain more freedom, and what freedom really is. In this series, the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Kneo Mokgopa speaks with poet and author, Maneo Mohale; Artist, Siyabonga Mthembu; organiser and author, Kelly-Eve Koopman; Traditional healer, Vuyiswa Xekatwane; veteran activist, Mark Heywood; acclaimed actor, Mpume Mthombeni; teacher and author, Karen Hurt; as well as professor of law, Tshepo Madlingozi.

We ask them what freedom did have they gained since 1994, and what they and people in South Africa are still fighting for freedom from. With After Freedom, we want to explore the history of freedom in South Africa, to understand our current political and ideological fault lines. We also want to produce a resource for the public that can be used to develop the cause for freedom, and explore the nature, substance and limits of freedom as we understand it.

Our first episode is with acclaimed actor, Mpume Mthombeni. Mpume discusses freedom in terms of spiritual, cultural and social freedom. She explores the difficult relationship between patriarchy, religion and cultural practice, her battle with identity and even finding the means and methods to be a woman and be free. 

The AfterFreedom podcast series will be available on Spotify, Google Podcasts and wherever else you listen to your podcasts soon. We are grateful to our donors and partners that have made this possible, to Old Mutual, Showcast Media who are producing the podcast, Pola Maneli who created the artwork, and to Sibusile Xaba for recording an original soundtrack for the project. 

Listen here.