For Bantu Stephen Biko.
Born: 18 December 1946
Murdered: 12 September 1977.
You fanned the fires of black pride,
facing down the racists trapped in their hollow white hide.
You breathed inspiration, infusing the many with renewed vigour,
though always knowing you were in the crosshairs of Apartheid’s trigger.
You never wavered, you stood tall and strong,
your words decimating the paltry platitudes of the fascist throng.
Your spirit, your courage, your words fanned the embers of resistance, with unshakeable determination,
you stood firm, always upright as you battled the scourge of racial discrimination,
and today, we as a people owe you the grateful tributes of a democratic nation.
They tortured you, they killed you, they murdered you, but they could never quell,
the conviction you instilled in a generation, the thirst for freedom and for dignity, and the tolling of the bell.
We salute you, fearless son of Africa, we remember you today, as we shall in all the tomorrows yet to come,
we shall never rest until the principled ideals for which you were killed are through our collective struggles won.
Only then shall we honour your selfless sacrifice, your dream of an equal society for all,
Only then shall we have truly honoured your eternally defiant, your ever valiant,
your forever truthful revolutionary call.
Viva the undying spirit of Steve Biko!
The Struggles Continue ...
Afzal Moolla was born in Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, working as political exiles against Apartheid in South Africa. He then travelled wherever his parent’s work took them, spending time in Egypt, Finland, and Iran. Afzal works and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This piece was first published on Afzal Moolla's personal blog.