Biko, Steve (1946–1977)
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They had to kill him to prolong the life of apartheid.
(Nelson Mandela quoted in Somerville 2002)
It is both sad and timely to reflect that many of the leaders on whose vision and bravery anti-colonial movements are built do not live to see the fulfilment of their struggle. Stephen Bantu Biko is one of those leaders. A prodigiously talented thinker and speaker, his life is a symbol of the sacrifices made when national liberation movements are confronted by the forces of history that seek to repress and subjugate them. But if his life is a symbol for sacrifice, then so too is it a symbol for the liberatory maxim articulated by Burkina Faso’s late revolutionary president Thomas Sankara: ‘While...
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