Artists always have been and will be part of the struggle to build peace and friendship in a united African continent that stretches from Cape to Cairo.
At this particular time, artists are called upon to fight all forms of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination: racism, sexism, ethnicity and xenophobia.
Thus we are looking at artists and other creative intellectuals in the sector to articulate and express the wishes, hopes and aspirations of the people.
We know that the people of South Africa and the continent want to leave in peace and harmony. We have seen the people of South Africa stand up to make it very clear that they are opposed to violence against foreign nationals.
On this day, 27 April 1994, we held our first democratic elections, signaling the end of racist apartheid rule. Today we remember that historic moment.
I am happy that you have joined us on what will mark a turning point in how we deal with the matter of colonial history and other cultural symbols in our country.
We meet here this evening as part of the initial stages of a month-long programme focusing on Africa for the month of May.
We gather here tonight to launch the Africa Month Cultural Festival Program. We gather here at this special and sacred Freedom Park heritage and memorial site. It is one of those rare cultural sites in this country and continent. It stands as a testament to African history, heritage and struggle.
The year 2015 has been declared the 'Year of the Freedom Charter' celebrating it's 60th anniversary. One of the key clauses of the Freedom Charter states 'All shall enjoy equal human rights'.
What Has Been Done? We have gathered here today, from all corners of our country in order to answer one question: how much progress have we made in nation building and social cohesion?
We are gathered today not to bury an artist but to witness the beginning of an important journey where the cultural and creative sector will take its fate and future into its own hands. This is a significant development worth celebrating.
No one knew better the struggle for equal human rights for all than this leader of our people. Human Rights 2015 is commemorated under the theme, “Celebrating the Freedom Charter, Enjoying Equal Human Rights for All.”