Instamoments from the Freedom Day Instameet

  • 04 May 2016 | By Anje Rautenbach

On the 27th of April South Africa celebrated Freedom Day; a day to commemorate 27 April 1994 when the first democratic general election was held South Africa, a day to mark the end of Apartheid and a day to symbolise the beginning of something new.

This year there was a modern day celebration of Freedom Day in Nelson Mandela Bay through an Instameet; a fun way of getting together, exploring a new place and telling stories through a digital visual voice.



People, from all walks of life, gathered at the South End Museum with cameras, phones and a spirit of curiosity. Photographers pitched, the SABC news crew filmed, Die Burger joined, the Bay’s top Instagrammers worked their magic, families got together, children clicked and snapped and even some foreign tourists joined the group of Instameeters.

Everyone shared their moments under the #ShareTheBay hashtag and even a fisherman from the Old Seamen's Institute joined in on the fun of capturing Freedom Day.



Who's that instagrammer? #sharethebay #southendmuseum

A photo posted by Chasing The Rainbow (@therainbowsa) on


The day started with a tour of South End Museum, a place that “portrays a society, a movement and a recovery that is symbolic of the struggle and victory of South Africa as a whole” and a place that will leave you speechless and in admiration of those who fought against the injustices from the past.



Through the introductory room of newspaper clippings and photos, the South End Hero Room and the Hall of Memories, the Freedom Day visitors got a glimpse and better understanding as to why South End Museum plays such an important role in the history and transformation of Port Elizabeth.

The floor of South End Museum's hall was probably the most photographed feature of the museum on the day of the Freedom Day Instameet. Through the floor map we learned what the old South End suburb looked like before the forced removals of 1965 (and we also realised that Port Elizabethans have some great taste in shoes).



Exploring South End Museum #rainbowsneakers #sharethebay #portelizabeth #rainbownation #freedomday #chasingtherainbow

A photo posted by Chasing The Rainbow (@therainbowsa) on


Busy Floor #sharethebay #cityofportelizabeth #nelsonmandelabay #toursouthafrica #southendmuseum

A photo posted by Nadine Rose Larter (@queen_nayes) on



#MyNelsonMandelaBay #FreedomDay✊����✨#sharethebay

A photo posted by Anitta Unathi Nxusa (@anne_nxusa) on


Fishing and angling played a big role in the lives of South Enders and we found a beautiful display at the museum.



Music was a pillar in the South End Community and "an outlet for artistic expression, fun and social activities that was free of bias and discrimination. More than this, it was also a medium to communicate ideals and to promote the cohesion of the community".



Harmonium circa 1949 #mynelsonmandelabay #southendmuseum #portelizabeth

A photo posted by Tyrone Adams (@tyrone.adams) on


What does Freedom Day mean to you?

We asked a few Instagrammers to share their thoughts on Freedom Day, here's what they had to say:


Khurshid (@africuz) said...

"Freedom Day is an opportunity to learn more about it, to appreciate our freedom and to guard it."



Sarah (@therainbowsa) from Chasing the Rainbow Family Travel Blog said:

"Freedom Day is the celebration of the ideals of Nelson Mandela's rainbow nation - something very close to our heart, and part of what we are chasing with our family blog. It was incredible to spend the day among a young and diverse crowd, reflecting briefly on the mistakes of the past but more importantly, collectively looking to the future of our beautiful count, capturing and sharing images of hope, love, courage and faith, so aptly displayed at South End Museum".



Love is the foundation of true freedom #sharethebay #chasingtherainbow #freedomday #PortElizabeth #southendmuseum #instameet

A photo posted by Chasing The Rainbow (@therainbowsa) on


Janet Middleton (@janetmiddleton) responded with this beautiful quote by Nelson Mandela:

"For me freedom day is this reminder, 'For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chain but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others' by Madiba."



Annita (@anne_nxusa) said: 

"To me, Freedom Day means opportunity, identity and most importantly progress beacuse annually, we as South Africans commemorate this day to look back, reflect, acknowledge and appreciate what our country has and what our country is becoming."



#MyNelsonMandelaBay #FreedomDay✊����✨ #sharethebay

A photo posted by Anitta Unathi Nxusa (@anne_nxusa) on


Kgosi, (@kickpushkgosi), another talented local Instagrammer said:

"Freedom Day means being able to express myself any way I choose, but doing so responsibly."



Nadine (@queen_nayes) from Keep Passing the Open Windows Blog wrote about Instameetings and said:

"Today, we went on another Instameet. We met at the South End Museum - a place I have never actually wandered through before - and we got to mingle with each other while taking photographs and having a few laughs and giggles."

And in another blog post about attending Three Instameets in a Week, she said:

"I’m really feeling kind of inspired to explore even more of my own city."



Wall of Fame #southendmuseum #toursouthafrica #sharethebay #nelsonmandelabay #cityofportelizabeth

A photo posted by Nadine Rose Larter (@queen_nayes) on


Looking Back

About 30 creative and curios minds from Nelson Mandela Bay gathered on Freedom Day to take photos, have a few laughs, learn more about the history of Port Elizabeth, grab a cup of coffee and play a game of Uno at the South End Boulevard Café. Through the power of social media new friendships were formed, ideas sparked and people got inspired to #ShareTheBay.



Looking Forward

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism is planning more Instameets for 2016 with exciting themes at some of the Bay's most photogenic locations. If you want to explore your city with a camera or even without a camera, be sure to join us for the next one. An Instameet is an opportunity to learn, share, get creative and enjoy the best the Bay has to offer! 


And the winners are..

During the Freedom Day Instameet Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism handed out some #ShareTheBay goodies like sunglasses, lip balm and t-shirts.




A photo posted by Phiwokuhle Loffy Mothemela (@phiwokuhlemothemela) on


But they also offered two more prizes...the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card; a card that allows you to experience the best of the Bay and the surrounding areas through free entries and discounts. 



With the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card you can enjoy a variety of activities such as going for a surfing lesson, having a picnic at Thunzi Bush Lodge, going on a Game Drive at Kuzuko Lodge or even getting a spa treatment! 

After sifting through all the photos from the Freedom Day Instameet and looking at the #ShareTheBay moments, the choice was made by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism to choose two winners who showcased the spirit of Freedom Day at South End Museum...


Congratulations to Nadine Rose Larter for winning a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card!



The Littlest Photographer �� #sharethebay #cityofportelizabeth #toursouthafrica #mykidnoah #southendmuseum

A photo posted by Nadine Rose Larter (@queen_nayes) on


And congratulations to Khurshid Samarqandiy, you also win a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card!



Enjoy your Pass Cards! We look forward to seeing more of your #ShareTheBay moments!

We would like to thank South End Museum and South End Boulevard Café for hosting Port Elizabeth’s Instagrammers during their Freedom Day Instameet!  

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