Let’s re­flect on progress since Biko’s pass­ing

Sowetan - - 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. His mur­der at only 30 robbed us of a uni­ver­sal thinker.

Biko had re­alised that the harm 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.

Did we get a fair deal out of the new po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment (democ­racy)? Was it the only vi­able 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 than on ed­u­ca­tion? Are the RDP houses (and yards) ad­e­quate for our of­ten ex­tended fam­i­lies?

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

Th­ese and many more ques­tions need to be raised. We need to take an eclec­tic view of our tra­di­tions and bol­ster the ones worth keep­ing and do away with non­sense. I won­der what Biko would think. Just say­ing.

Pa­trick Mphuthi Gallo Manor, Sand­ton

Steve Bantu Biko

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