30 years later–Biko back to stay

 By Raul Dimitriu and Jess Levy 

A public lecture honouring the legacy of anti-apartheid activist, Stephen Bantu Biko, was held on September 17 at Rhodes University and the Student Union was renamed the Steve Biko Student Union.


Director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, Dr Neville Alexander, delivered a speech as part of the commemoration of Biko, who died in police custody 30 years ago.

In keeping with Biko’s vision of promoting indigenous African languages, the Steve Biko 30 Year Commemoration isiXhosa Speech Competition was held in the preceding weeks.

 The winners were announced before Alexander’s speech. The competition was hosted by the Rhodes African School of Languages, in liaison with the Fingo Revolutionary Movement. Among the distinguished guests present at the lecture were Biko’s son, Nkosinathi Biko, and Peter Jones, who was arrested by security police along with Biko outside Grahamstown in 1977.

 “The past month represented a national moment of recollection,” said Alexander, who was also a political activist. He described Biko as a “kindred spirit” who, in his struggle against oppression, exhibited “boldness, vision, political imagination and relentless courage”.


The speech, entitled ‘Steve Biko’s last attempt at unifying the liberation forces’, focused on Biko’s leadership role in the Black Consciousness Movement and the visions he had for a democratic, non-racial South Africa–a country where there weren’t minority or majority groups, but just people. Alexander spoke on Biko’s belief that the nation’s politics and society should be underpinned by socialist ideals.

 Alexander suggested that there should not only be ceremony and commemoration of Biko, but that concrete social action was necessary to “lift all South Africans”. He said that many issues remain unresolved and commented on how South Africa’s democracy still needs to be consolidated so that everyone can benefit from Biko’s sacrifice and vision.

Other events that took place in remembrance of Biko were the one-day colloquium at Randall House and an inter-faith service at the Cathedral of St Michael and St George that was addressed by Dr. Saleem Badat and Bishop Thabo Magoba.

 In honour of Biko, the Rhodes University Student Union has been renamed the Steve Biko Student Union. “It is very important to commemorate Biko,” said SRC President, Ricardo Pillay, commenting on how Biko’s identity now embodies the building.


10 Responses to 30 years later–Biko back to stay

  1. Ntombesizwe Busakwe says:

    My name is Ntombesizwe Busakwe i live in Queenstown.I’m a big fan of Steve Biko.I respect him he was a Hero.Thank God for people like him.

  2. Siboniso says:

    i have big respect for Steve he was my hero no he is still my hero long live the spirit of biko long live

  3. Menzi Nhlenyama says:

    Steve Biko was the true hero,he was the voice of the voice less.May his spirit live.

  4. Esther Sibongile Phoko says:

    My name is Sibongile Phoko from Middelburg. I am a full member of the african national congress and like to say long live the spirit of Steve Biko long live He was really a hero and still is. The memories will always live in our spirits. Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandla!!!!!!



  6. Ntombesizwe Busakwe says:

    Long live Steve Biko,You were truely a Legend.

  7. Allow mi to greet all African under the marty and the blood of one original pure proud leader not a hero of our cause. Steve personally hoe one wich u were here on earth to truly give guidane some few elite of the black revolutionry


    Ngqanga neentsiba zayo(I greet you all in accordance). May Steve Biko’s intellectual and consciousness be with us all the time. We, the conscious sons and daughters of this motherland should’nt bow to the imperial and chartered life we are currently spoon-fed by the powers to be. We all know that the true liberation of the black people is within our reach, lets rally behind AZANIAN PEOPLES ORGANISATION to liberate ourselves and those in dark corners.The poverty we see in black people with our own eyes is evidence, enough to remind us that our diagnoses did went wrong back in 1994 until present. We settled for less hence give nothing, absolutely nothing. The signs of dictatorship are rising, we have seen the floor-crossing policy that literally stole peoples choice.In 2010 we wake up and smell the Bills, drafts, you name them intended to silence the voice of those who could see beyond the boardrooms of darkness and foolishness. This is the matter of urgency…Rise South Africa the beast is awake and ready to swallow the poor, the black and the conscious.

  9. Lucas Lunga Ntshinka says:

    OOOHHH!! Amandla!! Steve Biko Amandla!!, you were indid, in fact is a real “Tower” may your spirit rest in peace. infact Heroes like you never gona be Rest in peace

  10. BWIRE GARVIN says:

    am from kenya , i have read the philosophy of steve biko and BPC, the like of Dr. maphele Ramphele, Nstiki, mohapi,tenji(,PC peter jones) and other BPC leaders and Donald woods.Its great and Biko should be given special place here in our hearts as africans.we must push our government t honor BIKO and other BPC comrades who selflessly pushed forward the struggle of a black man , BIKO WILL BE ALIVE IF ONLY AFRICANS WILL EMBRASS HIS IDEALOGIES.GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY, NKOSINATHI, SAMORA UHMELO AND THE REST

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