We must never forget the brainy man from Ginsberg – Bantu Stephen Biko
REMEMBER Bantu Stephen Biko? He was that man from a town called Ginsberg in the Eastern Cape.
On an aside, we share the same clan – amaGcina. Lindiwe Sisulu is from the same clan. In other words, we are not mugus. On the contrary, we are quite cool when it comes to the use of brains. I am just trying to say we are not lazy to use medulla oblongata. We think, excuse the pun, that it is fine to use the brain. We are brainy, I am trying to say.
Bantu Biko was so brainy it is well known that he was not fancied by the security cops of apartheid.
It is not that they only disliked his use of English (they disliked that too). They did not like his brain in whatever language, full stop.
I was only 11 when Bantu Biko died. This means I was in Standard 1. Many people disappeared in the 1970s; people who disagreed with the country’s view on race relations.
Granted, I was still young in 1977 but I remember my discomfort with the notion that when we entered the cinema, the Xhosas, the coloureds and Indians had to sit in different rooms. The whites, of course, had the prime place to sit and watch Charles Bronson or Roger Moore.
So when Bantu Biko disappeared in the 1970s, I also had a suspicion that the white government had something to do with my clan mate.
True, at the time I had no clue about the whereabouts of Ginsberg. I also did not know that I shared a clan with bra Steve. In truth, in the following decade, at Victor Verster, I was extremely careful not to go the Biko way.
In hindsight, how could the apartheid guys think that they could get away with the murder of such a nice guy?
If you do not know bra Bantu Biko, please read him in I Write What I Like.
His articulation of the stupidity of the racist discourse is remarkable. It is unbelievable that the whites of South Africa at the time believed such silly drivel. I still cannot believe it. More, to kill a person like Biko is just a demonstration of how demented the human being can be.
And the silence of his disappearance can make you decide to resign from the human race. Imagine what the monkeys and baboons thought of the human being when they considered the Biko case.
Also, the majority of Europeans in South Africa at the time were not bothered by this sad moment in our history. The blacks were savages and had to be harassed for the colour of their skin. But besides competing on something as mundane as skin colour; we know that the black skin is not in competition with the white skin. If they are, then let me say that I think they shouldn’t. I know that you think so too.
Let me hasten to say that this embarrassing moment in South African history must not be repeated. We owe it to the beauty of living and life that it must not be repeated. On the contrary; let it be a majestic lesson that the tender essences of life are decorated by the depths of this consciousness.
Sadly, the rumours that keep on reaching my ear are that Bantu Biko’s sister is living a hard life when it comes to finances. If it is so, I am forced to plead that our country finds a way in which we can stop that. I am also pleading that the depths of soul teach us to remember bra Steve with the depths allowed by deepness of charming feeling. It is possible with the love that we possess.
We are obliged to decorate life with the charms carried in Steve’s historic life. The central government must regard it as obligation that the history of this comrade be narrated to the charms of the glories of this country.
His brave life must be used to narrate the future abilities of this land.
Between me and you, I (and some enormous names in this country) am very impressed to be related to this enormous stature.
It is not every day that we are charmed by such majesty. We must just learn to understand that the depths of this understanding are deeper than the shallow corners of clichés.
Tenderly, must we narrate the amazing charms and compliments of this glorious person from the Eastern Cape.
It is upon all of us in this country to remind the world of Bantu Stephen Biko.
Humbly, we are not able to live without the great graces the people like Steve Biko gave us, free of charge! I am not saying it only because we are from the same clan. It is just that Steve’s name is great!