Saturday Star - - OPINION -

WE HAVE just com­mem­o­rated 40 years since the death of one of Africa’s great­est thinkers, Steve Bantu Biko, at the hands of apartheid hooli­gans.

He was just 30 when we were robbed of this univer­sal thinker.

He had re­alised that the killer wound in­flicted on blacks by colonis­ers and op­pres­sors was to the mind.

We need to re­flect on how we’ve fared since his pass­ing in de­vel­op­ing the way we think and do things (cul­ture) as Africans and how the way we do things im­pacts our lives and Africa’s sta­tus quo, as one un­der­de­vel­oped con­ti­nent.

Did we get a fair deal out of the new po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment (democ­racy)? Was it the only vi­abIe op­tion? Is our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem de­colonised and ef­fec­tive?

Are we win­ning the fight against poverty and in­equal­ity?

Do we need to spend more money on fu­ner­als, tomb­stones, cul­tural events ( imisebenzi) than on ed­u­ca­tion?

Are the RDP houses (and yards) ad­e­quate for our of­ten ex­tended fam­i­lies?

Do we spend more (money and time) on churches, re­li­gion and muthi (some, if not most, with no proven heal­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties) than other coun­tries?

Do we want in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion rather than in­vest­ing in the fu­ture?

Do we eat healthy, bal­anced di­ets as our fore­bears used to?

These and many more ques­tions need to be raised.

We need to take an eclec­tic view of our tra­di­tions (and Africa has many good ones, for ex­am­ple ubuntu) and bol­ster the ones that are worth keep­ing and do away with non­sense.

I won­der what Steve Bantu Biko would think. Just say­ing.

Pa­trick Mphuthi

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