Berlin celebrates 20 years of a democratic South Africa
Berlin was host to a grand celebration on Thursday, August 28, in honour of South Africa's 20 years of democracy.
Hugh Masekela in concert
A concert by Hugh Masekela launched four days of activities in the German capital featuring the rich art and vibrant creative spirit that defines South Africa today.
Germany's Foreign Office and the South African Embassy in Berlin are jointly presenting a series of cultural events that opened on Thursday with the gala concert at the House of World Cultures.
Speaking at the official opening was writer and prominent figure in South Africa's literary landscape, Njabulo S. Ndebele.
Njabulo S. Ndebele
In addition to Ndebele, Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the German Foreign Office, also addressed the audience, emphasizing: “Geographically, our countries may be far apart, but the history of the one often reflects the history of the other. In Germany we celebrate 20 years of democracy in South Africa as it stands for a victory of justice over injustice.”
Over 2000 guests, German and South African alike, attended the official opening and the concert featuring South African Jazz legend Hugh Masekela.
The energy at the concert reflected the indomitable spirit of South Africans. German Ambassador to South Africa Dr. Horst Freitag, also in attendance, noted: “Just decades ago, South Africa was sitting on a volcano. Since 1994 its strong and vibrant democracy has achieved much in a relatively short time. South Africans have a truly remarkable story to tell. It is a unique story, one that should inspire countries not yet at peace with themselves to embark upon their walk to freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”
The many activities and events offer the opportunity to share South Africa's successes, as well as its challenges, as a young democracy. The partnership shown in hosting this event mirrors the joint approach Germany has taken towards supporting South Africa in confronting the various obstacles that still remain. This commitment is long-standing, robust and positive.
The symposium runs alongside photo exhibits, a poetry reading, dance concert, film screenings and many other public activities. For a full overview of the events taking place, please visit: