5 South Africans Share Their 1994 Voting Day Memories

On the 27th of April 2015, we will be celebrating 21 years of proudly South African freedom. Intern blogger, Accolade Ubisi, took the time to speak to two of our educators and students about their experience on voting day 1994.


Ivy Shakoane, English Teacher GWF: “In 1994, when black South Africans were allowed for the first time to cast a vote for a leader, I was in the Tzaneen area (Limpopo) where I worked. The streets were buzzing with noise from the foot traffic that was moving so rapidly to go and register to vote. I didn’t really understand what it meant then, but I knew one thing for sure; my children would not be doing Bantu education in school, education was to change dramatically.”


Mo Groch , Londolozi Digital Learning Centre Coordinator: “1994 was a light house day for me as a South African citizen who yearned for change in our country, a change that would benefit all who lived in the land. I stood in a queue of a rainbow South Africa about 5km away from the Union buildings, and all I can say is that it was a day filled with positive celebration and jubilation.”


Melody Mhkava, IT Student at GWF : “When South Africa went and voted our Tata (Madiba) on his much deserved and rightful seat in 1994, I was only 6 years old, but I can remember my parents and relatives dressing up and singing in the house as they prepared to go and vote. Today I can celebrate the 21 years of democracy with the rest of the country because it opened up the doors of education for my siblings and me.”


Kate Groch, GWF CEO: “1994 for me meant that I could vote for a country that allowed me and my daughter Maya to be a family. I felt like we were entering the hopeful unknown, but it was good because it meant change, and change is always good. I’m celebrating the 21 years of freedom this year because I am surrounded by hopeful people here at GWF, and that is what my vote was for. I’m also proud of the fact that I was one of the first people to vote – I was in New Zealand where the time zone differs to that of South Africa.”


Macdonald Fakude, GWF Open Learning Academy scholar: ”I am only 12 years old, and was not born at the time when my parents and relatives voted for Tata Mandela, but my mom says it was so amazing that I could go to a proper school and have a decent education. Today I am also able to come to GWF and learn my math’s and English on a tablet because of what took place in 1994, so Viva freedom day!


We had to include this photo of Maya at Port Elizabeth’s Donkin Reserve, where an open air art exhibition reminds us of voting day – standing in line and holding hands.

Where were you on voting day in 1994?