Nelson Mandela Bay Freedom Stories Competition deadline extended to 16 June

  • 06 June 2014 | By Lynnette Johns

The launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay blog was attended by media, top international travel bloggers and tourism stakeholders. Pictured here are Adriana Lacerda and Mauricio Oliveir, of Brazil, with Annareth Bolton, CEO of Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Named after South Africa’s most famous global icon, the Nelson Mandela Bay region, which includes Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch, is commemorating 20 years of democracy in South Africa with a Freedom Captured competion. Share your experiences of freedom with us, the competition closing date has been extended to June 16, Youth Day.

The “Freedom Captured” competition has already attracted the interest of people near and far who have submitted their “Freedom Stories”, via the online form. We have extended the competition to Youth Day, 16 June. The Soweto uprising against Bantu education started on 16 June 1976  . 

Surfing at one of Nelson Mandela Bay's beaches, gives you an amazing feeling of freedom.  

Celebrating 20 years of freedom, it is fitting to extend the competition closing date to June 16. Submissions can be personal, cultural, environmental or social, but it must embody the beauty and integrity of freedom in the Nelson Mandela Bay area. Entrants are also encouraged to submit one or two images to support their stories.

Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile says Nelson Mandela Bay is referred to as Ikhaya lenkululeko (home of freedom) because it has the ability to evoke the spirit of freedom.

"Nelson Mandela Bay has the ability to provide a continuous experience of genuine freedom. This is not only through the historical value and symbolism of the struggle against apartheid. The Bay has a variety of attractions, activities and authentic experiences which have the ability to evoke the spirit of freedom in any person's soul," Skefile says.

Enjoying cocktails is one of many ways to socialise

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Babalwa Lobishe says: “We are ready to share our unique and captivating story with the world, and we invite you to become part of the journey and add your voice to the marketing of Nelson Mandela Bay. Our story is not a perfect one and neither is our democracy perfect. But within us all burns the flame of freedom ignited almost 20 years ago – it is time to let it shine.”

The prize is an exceptional Nelson Mandela Bay experience which includes, two domestic flights to Port Elizabeth, two nights accommodation in Nelson Mandela Bay, two Nelson Mandela Bay Passes, two nights at the Addo Elephant National Park, and car rental for five days. The winner will be announced on 19 June 2014.

Read what some of the entrants have had to say:

Lucinda Roberts, from the Eastern Cape, said: "Not needing anything from anyone, being totally independent, freedom is never free, you have to work for it."

The main museum, oceanarium and snake park form Bayworld, for adult- and child-friendly entertainment

Cindy Botha from the Limpopo region, had something different to say: "Freedom to me is just the simple things in life ... The freedom to choose and express my own religion. The freedom to say what I feel and think. The freedom to express myself any which way I choose. The privilege to just have freedom ... Many people overlook the small freedoms we have in life ... not me ... I focus on the smaller things to appreciate the bigger things!"

The Old Railway Station Museum is at one of the oldest railway stations in South Africa.  

Says Akhona Mti, from Gauteng: "Freedom is the ability to be free from everything and free to make your own choices, freedom means being able to interact with other ethnic groups, where black and white can be seen as one."

Apart from the interactive competition, the blog also features experiences, things to try, photo galleries, insider info, tips and hints to unlock the region, known for its warm hospitality, friendliness and staggeringly beautiful natural environment. The blog is a great companion on a journey to discover freedom in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The multi-purpose Nelson Mandela Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, named after South Africa's first post-apartheid president. 

“We are excited about Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism’s new digital marketing journey. Within the first month the new blog has attracted many unique visitors from 24 different countries. We are investing in rich, unique content development for the region. The average user has viewed three pages and spent more than four minutes on the site. This is excellent by international standards,” Skefile said.

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