Tag Archives: Steve Biko

Heritage Day: What’s wrong with this picture?

I have a love-hate relationship with Heritage Day. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings of seeing people in different and beautiful outfits representing their heritage — our diversity as the rainbow nation — it’s also a point of tension and possibly pain. In the wake of a cultural appropriation incident a few months ago, Heritage…

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We are not born inferior to anyone

Far too many suffer from self-imposed inferiority complex. This is because they pay too much attention to what others have, especially the advantaged. They feel inadequate because they are looking at what others have: money, houses, furniture, clothes, cars, food and positions. As they say in the in the townships, “Bhek’indaba zakho wna!” – just…

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Critical consciousness is the answer

There is, increasingly, a common message that is emerging about South Africa 21 years since the formal end of apartheid — things are getting bad. As argued elsewhere, this might not be surprising particularly if we look at the developmental experiences during the first two decades or so for many post-independent countries on our continent….

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The problem with “Why I can’t ‘get over’ apartheid”

I had the privilege of teaching both “white” and “black” children during the apartheid era, during the transition, and thereafter. This was from about 1988 to 2004.* Xhosa teenagers in Langa High** (I taught there in 1989 and 1990) were highly politicised, talked about oppression and how to dismantle apartheid. Once the ANC was unbanned…

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If Rhodes goes, Jesus Christ must go

Here’s an inconsequential bit of South African literary history. The late poet Professor Stephen Watson used to have me over to his little house on Rouwkoop Road in Rondebosch just across the road from the railway line. This was in the mid-Eighties. With the occasional roar of a passing train in the background we often…

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Biko lives but transformation suffers

As we commemorate the brutal and barbaric killing of Stephen Bantu Biko this time of the year we are once again forced to reflect on where we are as a country against the ideals that Biko died for. South Africa is also marking 20 years of political independence. It is fitting, indeed, to ask and…

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Don’t talk to me about race or blackness!

It was one of those easy and relaxed days over the weekend. I was in a group of family and friends enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. After all, we had been invited to hang out and just catch up. I was aware that this was an exclusive black group in a so-called former white-only…

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Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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‘Whites don’t care about blacks’

By Lucille Dawkshas I’m the only white teacher in an all-black township school. Teaching the philosophy of Steve Biko has been quite interesting, given the context. I can relate to Athambile Masola’s “atmosphere of exclusion” in her article “A Biko moment”, where “there are no words or signs declaring the exclusion”. I’ve had several “Biko…

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A Biko moment

I’ve been having a Biko moment for a while now. A “Biko [1] moment” is that moment when someone says something racist but I’m left wondering if I’m reading too much into the situation. That moment when I have to debate in mind if I feel welcome in a space because there’s an atmosphere of…

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