What is We The People?

We The People is an initiative of Media Monitoring Africa and is not aligned to any political party or sponsor. We The People’s mission is to educate the South African public on the role and importance of the Constitution in their daily lives in practical ways that everyone can relate to. We envision a nation of citizens who understand their rights, ensure that they are exercised, and hold the powerful to account.

What’s the “Love Our Constitution” campaign about?

The aim of the “Love Our Constitution” campaign is to get as many South Africans as possible to tell the world why they love our constitution. Not only is it a way to get South Africans from all walks of life to understand why the constitution is so important to all of us, it’s a powerful act of symbolism to remind ourselves – and the rest of the world – of what makes South Africans who we are.

Why “love” our constitution? Can’t we just be proud of it?

We want South Africans to be proud of our constitution. But being proud of something doesn’t carry the same weight as loving it. When you love something, it’s because you have a real connection with it. The constitution is the bedrock of our democracy and the ultimate guarantee of our freedom. So we think it’s worth loving.

What if there are parts of the constitution I don’t agree with?

One message we hope comes through in this campaign is this: that even if you don’t like everything about the constitution, you realise that it protects you as much as it protects others. Take away one right you don’t think should be there, and the rest follow, including the freedoms you want for yourself.

Why do something symbolic? Wouldn’t it be better to do something real?

Symbols are powerful. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t get uptight about seeing the old South African flag at a rugby match. We’re focused on giving all South Africans the knowledge to exercise their rights. The idea is that you will take this knowledge and use it to make your world and country a better place.

Isn’t this just another campaign aimed at desktop activists?

We The People is based online because that’s the most practical way to collate and archive information where as many people as possible are able to access it. But newspapers like the Daily Sun and the SABC’s African language stations are central to our strategy. Campaigns like this one are meaningless unless South Africans from all walks of life participate in them.

What’s the point of learning about my rights if they get violated anyway?

The first step to taking more control of your circumstances is to understand what your rights are. Because we don’t believe in educating the public and leaving it at that, we’ve also got a list of resources for people who need help.

What is We The People’s long-term goal?

The idea is that We The People will evolve with the input of new ideas, but its core purpose will always be to serve as a resource to educate the South African public about the constitution.

How can I participate?

We The People is built upon the principle of collaborative creation. If you have an idea about how to spread the word about the project and educate South Africans on the constitution – a viral video, a game, an infographic – go for it! We’ll post your contribution on the site and spread the word via Twitter and Facebook.