Stop just quoting Biko and be the man, all year round

Ideas

Stop just quoting Biko and be the man, all year round

Every year, on the anniversary of his death, devotees pay lip service to his teachings instead of acting on them

Editor: TimesLIVE

In a few days, black consciousness adherents and some scholars will remind us, as they should, of the terrible and callous killing of Stephen Bantu Biko.

They will find quotes from his popular book, I Write What I Like, to show us how much we have not learnt from Biko’s timeless teachings. They will look at the current crop of politicians and how they lack principles, and then quote Biko: “It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea than will die.” They will explain that we are fools for thinking society’s very complex challenges will be resolved by politicians without backbones, politicians without courage to do the right things for posterity because their preoccupation is how close they come to those who issue tenders. 

These scholars will remind us of this important quote: “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” They will use this to tell us that as long as the majority who are without work are satisfied with receiving R350 stipends for which they do no community service, our society is doomed. This is so because we are so distracted from the main economic issues we should be tackling. They will point out that we talk about the importance of the small business department, yet nobody talks about the pittance this important department is allocated to help small business. They will say the intention to help is communicated, except the help is withheld. ..

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