Martyr of the South African anti-apartheid struggle, Bantu Stephen Biko is being remembered 40 years after he died on the 12th of September 1977.
Steve Biko's life was spent advocating for the rights of black people. He paid the ultimate cost for this fight, but his struggle and his resilience made significant strides in South Africa's struggle for the liberation of its people.
Biko is constantly being remembered for the sacrifices made during the struggle for democracy.
Steve Biko: An icon for Human rights
In remembering the legacy of Biko, a garden of Remembrance overlooks his grave in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. The garden aims to be a unifier of the people of South Africa, something Biko fought for throughout his political life. Biko epitomised the concept of Black Consciousness.
As the Black Consciousness Movement’s philosophies sees a resurgence in recent years, Biko was on who fostered the ideals and will be known for his courage and the important legacy he left behind. Friends and comrades agree that Biko's struggle was for blacks to assume charge of their own destiny. Biko’s Black Consciousness philosophy appears to have gained traction largely among the country’s black youth born after the end of apartheid in 1994. The appeal of Black Consciousness among the so-called “born-frees” is reminiscent of the way it influenced the generation that took part in the liberation struggle.
Biko died under police custody in 1977, at what is now known today as the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria. The announcement of Biko's death by the South African government saw protests erupting the very next day, both internationally and locally. Biko was not the only person to die in detention at the hands of the South African security police; yet, because of Biko's prominence as a charismatic leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, his case captured the attention of many South Africans and people throughout the world.
The Life of Steve Biko has not only been documented through a variety of books, but it has also made into a stage production, "Dinner with Bantu".
The play provided the youth with a recreational alternative by commemorating one of South Africa greatest sons, Steve Biko, written by Xolisa Ngubelanga, the play made waves and got attention nationally. "Dinner with Bantu" zoomed into the spirit of black consciousness, the cultural and political revival of an oppressed people.
'Biko's legacy will live forever'
Steve Bantu Biko's son, Nkosinathi Biko says his father's legacy will live forever. In an interview with Morning Live, Nkosinathi says Biko will always be his hero.
Well-known poet, Professor Pitika Ntuli says as we celebrate our history and heritage, it is also important that we celebrate the living legacy that Biko has left for us.