Sunday World

The Young Lion who roared for us

Sechaba’s call to action still remains to be fulfilled

- Khaya Ngema

Accomplish­ed journalist Bheki Sechaba ka Nkosi, who suddenly passed away this week, was a revered and distinguis­hed Young Lion who fought with commitment and dignity.

His day is done. His pen has stopped writing. But his work is not done. His call to action remains to be fulfilled.

This Young Lion never stopped roaring. It is important to note that it is not for itself that the lion roars. It is always for the rest of the pride. It is for the pride to remain coherent. It is for the pride to find it’s way. It is for the pride to sustain.

In an age where glitzy and expensive shirts that bear the faces of smiling presidents have become emblematic of a movement that was once the pride of its people, he chose to rather craft beautiful messages. Messages whose core purpose was to teach us, persuade us and guide us.

Messages also that reminded us that the work the Young Lions swore to live and die for, remained to be done. It is staring us hard in the face.

Freedom, in the sense that the generation that was characteri­sed by Oliver Tambo as the “Young Lions” understood it, remains the prize to be won. Because freedom for this generation, the Young Lions, was never about the flag, the anthem and the big black saloon car with blue lights.

As the Young Lions understood it, freedom reigns when the people govern. Freedom reigns when the people share in the wealth of the country.

Freedom reigns when the land is shared among those who work it. Freedom reigns when there is work and security for all. Freedom reigns when the doors of learning and culture are open. Freedom reigns when there are houses, security and comfort. Freedom reigns when all enjoy equal human rights.

The immortal words of Antonio Gramsci shout at us: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new is struggling to be born. In this interregnu­m, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

The Young Lions understand that unfortunat­ely the pride is no longer coherent. They realise that hyenas have quietly entrenched themselves in their midst.

The hyenas mimic their roar, they fly their flag, they sing their songs. The hyenas loudly and publicly proclaim their membership of the pride, but their ways and values show them for who they really are. The Young Lions wonder loudly, what are they to do with all these hyenas in their midst?

Bheki Sechaba ka Nkosi was a revered and distinguis­hed Young Lion, one of the proudest achievemen­ts of his generation of cadres. As a student activist, Vula operative and soldier in MK, he risked all for the glory of his people. He fought his revolution at all levels. He did all this with dignity and discipline

Sechaba chose to be among those who document the lives and tribulatio­ns of the society and economy in which he lived. Many can attest to his commitment and profession­alism in his craft. His truth was never owned elsewhere.

He questioned, he cajoled, he argued. But his mission and commitment never changed.

He was the same Young Lion through and through. The freedom and developmen­t of his people remained his guiding light. The need for accountabi­lity remained his concern. He never stopped doing all he could to see his country and continent progress.

And he loved his family. And his friendship and warmth was legendary.

All of his comrades and friends deeply mourn his departure. We will never forget his beautiful soul. Hamba kahle Mkhonto. Hamba kahle Mngan’ wami.

Ngema is former Mpumalanga director-general and Ekurhuleni city manager. He is currently chief people officer at Transnet

Freedom reigns when the people govern and when all enjoy equal rights

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 ??  ?? Bheki Sechaba ka Nkosi
Bheki Sechaba ka Nkosi

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