The Steve Biko Centre

“We have set out on a quest for true humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize”

Steve Biko 

 

Located in Ginsberg Township in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape, the Steve Biko Centre is an initiative of the Steve Biko Foundation, officially opened on the 30th November 2012. The Centre translates global interest in the legacy of Bantu Stephen Biko into an intellectual, economic and developmental resource for the local and regional economy.

 

Often, when articulating the developmental agenda, housing, electricity and water are at the fore of discourse; less emphasis is placed on the intangible, yet equally important aspects of heritage, culture and history; the Steve Biko Centre contributes to both facets of development.

 

Boasting world class conferencing, exhibition and training facilities for use by business, government and tourists, the Centre also implements developmental projects for youth and the community at large.

 

By patronizing the Steve Biko Centre clients not only have an opportunity to conduct their business in a unique and inspiring

 

Forming part of the Biko Heritage Trail, the Steve Biko Centre is a living monument that utilises memory to channel local energies towards contemporary development challenges.

 

As such, the Steve Biko Centre:

 

  • Provides facilities outside the usual major cultural centres in visual, cinematic, written word, spoken word and performing arts;
  • Promotes art forms that are not otherwise adequately supported in the region;
  • Preserves and develops cultural heritage sites, for methods of revenue generation that are both sustainable over the long term and economically viable for the communities in which they are situated, including tourism;
  • Promotes nation building and foster social cohesion through education, dialogue and debate and leadership development programmes; and
  • Provides spaces and training opportunities for capacity building and skills transfer.

 

The principal objectives of the Steve Biko Centre are to:

 

  • Educate the public about the leadership of Biko and his contribution to freedom and democracy;
  • Assist in strengthening the capacity of community-based organisations to provide essential services;
  • Contribute to poverty eradication through the development of cultural industries;
  • Support community development and mass participation in national dialogue; and
  • Promote sustainable livelihoods through SMME development.

 

Often, when articulating the developmental agenda, housing, electricity and water are at the fore of discourse; less emphasis is placed on the intangible, yet equally important aspects of heritage, culture and history. The Steve Biko Centre contributes to both facets of development, serving as an intellectual resource, while providing an economic opportunity for the region.

 

Accordingly, the Steve Biko Centre is comprised of: 

 

  • A Museum
  • An Archive and Library Resource Centre
  • A Commemorative Garden honoring human rights activists
  • Training Rooms
  • Cultural Performance and Production Spaces
  • A Community Media Centre
  • A Memorabilia Shop
  • Dining Facilities
  • Conferencing Spaces

 

In addition to being a comprehensive experience, the Steve Biko Centre features as the cornerstone of the Biko Heritage Trail; a series of Biko related sites in the Eastern Cape. These sites have been declared national heritage sites and consistently garner both local and international attention.  Among them are:

 

  • The Biko Statue, Oxford Street, East London
  • Biko Bridge, Settler’s Way, East London
  • Zanempilo Clinic, Zinyoka
  • Biko’s Home, Ginsberg Township, King William’s Town
  • Biko’s Office, 15 Leopold Street, King William’s Town
  • Biko’s Grave, The Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance, King William’s Town

 

For this reason the Steve Biko Centre is designed as both a destination for the tourist and a vehicle for greater cultural awareness and economic development for the local community.  It is a living monument that utilizes memory to channel local energies towards contemporary development challenges. Currently the Biko Heritage Trail attracts visitors from South Africa as well as the international community, creating opportunities for a vibrant tourism industry in the area.

 

Given its multi-faceted approach to social development, poverty alleviation and cultural awareness, this initiative has received the active endorsement of community members, local authorities and the national government.  All of the sites that comprise the Biko Heritage Trail have been declared national heritage sites by the South African Heritage Resources Agency.

 

The Steve Biko Centre, due to the positive social and economic impact it has on the region and the nation, has already been recognized as a Legacy Project, i.e. an initiative of national historic and cultural significance such as Robben Island and Freedom Park.  In order to qualify as a legacy project, the endorsement of Cabinet is required.

 

Beyond its national status, elements of the Biko Heritage Trail are also part of the National Heritage Council’s National Liberation Route and are included in UNESCO’s interim World Heritage List, which delineates global sites of cultural and natural significance.

 

Between its opening and the 30th June 2017, the Steve Biko Centre has directly interacted with 267 567 beneficiaries; an annual average of 66 891 people.  The growing interest in the work of the Foundation and Centre and the rising participation in the activities and programmes offered there is indicative of the appetite South Africans have initiatives such as this.

 

The attendees include both repeat visitors, pleased to extend the positive experiences that they have enjoyed during their time at the Centre, and a significant percentage of new attendees at each event, highlighting the relevance of the programming to their needs and aspirations.

 

Additional to these activities, the Steve Biko Foundation has an intercontinental reach through partnerships with like-minded developmental institutions as far afield as Bahia, Brazil, and Liverpool, United Kingdom.

 

The Steve Biko Centre is comprised of:

 

Museum

 

The bricks and mortar of the history now re-membered, the Steve Biko Centre Museum is more than a tourist attraction or a place; it is a rich resource, alive with history, that supports the work of the arts and culture, education and research and policy units of the Foundation.

 

The Museum features a permanent comprehensive exhibition about Steve Biko and Black Consciousness, locating Biko within the broader trajectory of the Black Radical/African Intellectual Tradition. The first section displays 11 panels that cover the Black Radical/African Intellectual Tradition with a focus on the history of Pan-Africanism and Negritude; the second section displays 8 panels that deal with African- American history with a focus on the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement; and there is a section dedicated to South African history, Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement with over 50 panels on display.

 

Each year, the Steve Biko Centre Museum hosts various theme-based temporary exhibitions intended to activate the Museum as a place where people are encouraged to think and engage about salient issues related to history, heritage, culture and consciousness.

 

For bookings and more information about the Steve Biko Centre Museum contact Steve Biko Centre Tour Guide, Ms. Asanda Mbaxa, on: +27 43 605 6705 or email: ambaxa@sbf.org.za.

 

 

Archive & Library Resource Centre

 

The Steve Biko Centre Library is open to the public and boasts a wonderful range of fiction and non-fiction books, which library-users may borrow or use on site. Providing knowledge and information in various formats, other resources that can be found at the library include audio CDs, DVDs, e-books and virtual library items, microform media, photographs, academic journals, periodicals, maps and pamphlets. The Library also features a collection of rare African-centred (Africana) literature, as well as an archive with rare historical materials related to Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement.

 

The Archive & Library Resource Centre also features a Community Computer Centre which houses 25 computers utilised by the Foundation and third party entities for basic and advanced computer literacy training. The Library’s Community Computer Centre also offers computer upskilling courses to the Foundation’s staff as well as members of the community, with specific focus on people who are differently abled. Some of the computer training courses offered at the Centre are conducted and facilitated in partnership with third party institutions.

 

To be a member and for more information about the Steve Biko Centre Archive & Library Resource Centre contact the Archivist & Librarian, Ms. Nosipho Shweni, on: +27 43 605 6700 or email: nshwenil@sbf.org.za.

 

 

Commemorative Garden

 

Located on the grounds at the Steve Biko Centre, the Commemorative Garden offers a wonderful space for remembrance and celebration of the lives of 128 political prisoners who died in police custody in South African prisons between the years 1963 – 1990. The Commemorative Garden serves as a lasting tribute to the people who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and a just society. The Commemorative Garden features African cultural aesthetics like bricks, wooden benches, panels with the list of names of people that died in police custody, the dates of their deaths as well as the official/alleged cause of death by the state The Garden is a space of memory, discovery and reflection equally interesting with its own history: it is the exact spot where Steve Biko and his colleagues in the Black Consciousness Movement used to congregate and discuss their activities, plans and information sharing.

 

Training Rooms

 

The Training Rooms at the Steve Biko Centre make this the best venue for all conferencing requirements. There are five Training Rooms that can be used as conference break-away rooms for small group discussions. The spaces can be configured to specific client requirements for each conference or event.

 

Cultural Performance & Production Space (Amphitheatre)

 

The Steve Biko Centre boasts of a state of the art Amphitheatre which serves as a cultural performance and production space. The Amphitheatre is best suited for hosting various events including musicals, dance and theatre productions. Through the Cultural Performance & Production Space (Amphitheatre) the Steve Biko Centre encourages the production of creative work by local playwrights, local performers, as well as artists. This is also the space where a number of in-house productions such as Giant in Him and Biko’s Quest premiered, performed by Abelusi.

 

For quotations, bookings and more information about the Cultural Performance & Production Space contact the Steve Biko Centre Conference Events Officer, Ms. Vuyokazi Duna, on: +27 43 605 6742 or email: vduna@sbf.org.za.

 

Memorabilia Shop

eNjwaxa

 

eNjwaxa is a memorabilia shop located at the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg. Its name is derived from Injwaxa, the name of one of the villages where the Black Community Programmes (BCP) of the Black Consciousness Movement started the Injwaxa Leather Works, producing shoes, belts, bags, as well as local arts and crafts created by community members. Today, the eNjwaxa memorabilia shop continues in this tradition, housing a variety of local clothing, books, arts and craft materials. Forming a part of the broader objectives of the Economic Justice programme, this initiative is geared towards supporting local entrepreneurs and offering them a space to showcase their work.

 

For bookings and more information about eNjwaxa memorabilia shop contact the Steve Biko Centre Receptionist, Ms. Anda Mkumla, on: +27 43 605 6700 or email: amkumla@sbf.org.za.

 

Dining Facilities

 

The Aluta Restaurant & Lounge offers you more special treats while at the Steve Biko Centre. Aluta is Ginsberg’s only restaurant and lounge of its kind, and one of King Williams Town’s newest events venue additions. Aluta prides itself as a vibrant Afrocentric dining space specializing in Afro-fusion meals from across the African continent and diaspora, served in a hygienic and upmarket place. Aluta also offers a unique African fine dining experience with great surroundings and ambiance: progressive African liberatory music, collage of struggle stalwarts from across the African world, pumping Afro-beats, Jazz, Soul, Reggae and everything in between.

 

Whether you’re popping in for a quick breakfast, a decent lunch meal or lazy weekend brunch or a glass of alcoholic beverages, Aluta has what you need. This dining facility provides an additional revenue stream for the Centre, while also increasing earnings from conferencing, as catering is in-sourced.

 

Restaurant & Lounge Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 08:00 to 22:00

Saturday: 10:00 to 22:00

Sunday: 11:00 to 13:00

 

For menu options, bookings and more information about the Aluta Restaurant & Lounge contact the Restaurant & Lounge Manager, Ms. Kay-Lee Campbell, on: +27 43 605 6721 or email: kcampbell@sbf.org.za.

 

Conference Spaces

 

The Steve Biko Centre offers multipurpose training and conferencing spaces that seat 600 people cinema style, 405 classroom style and 330 banquet style. The venues can be configured to a client’s requirements, with mobile partitioning allowing for a variety of group sizes and seating configurations.

 

The Steve Biko Centre is an ideal venue for:

  • Training & Conferences
  • Executive Meetings
  • Workshops
  • Corporate/Private Functions
  • Seminars
  • Exhibitions

 

Training & Conference Facilities

 

Venues

 

  • Multipurpose Space Seats:
  • 600 cinema style
  • 405 classroom style
  • 330 banquet style

 

–        290 seater semi-covered amphitheatre

–        210 seater auditorium

–        Executive boardroom for up to 14 delegates

–        5 Breakaway rooms

 

All the venues can be configured to a client’s requirements, with mobile partitioning allowing for variety of group sizes and seating configurations.

 

Facility Amenities

 

All venues are equipped with:

  • Air conditioners
  • Back-up generator
  • Data projectors
  • Onsite technical adviser
  • Mobile stages with skirting
  • Sound-proofing and enhanced acoustics
  • Event ushers
  • Function coordinator

 

Conference Packages

 

Our conference packages include furnishings, stationery, as well as water and mints.

 

For quotations, bookings and more information about the Training & Conferencing Facilities contact the Steve Biko Centre Conference Events Officer, Ms. Vuyokazi Duna, on: +27 43 605 6742 or email: vduna@sbf.org.za.

 

Business Incubator

 

Recognizing the link between economic realities and human dignity; through its programs, the Foundation seeks to advance economic development by empowering individuals and communities to develop sustainable livelihoods. The Foundation’s approach is underpinned by the principle of self-reliance and aims to assist in diminishing degrees of uncertainty and vulnerability in the lives of the economically disadvantaged.

 

For bookings and more information about The Business Incubator contact The Business Incubator Programme Officer, Mr. Lukhanyo Kampa, on +27 43 605 6700 or email: lkampa@sbf.org.za.

 

Biko Heritage Trail

 

Located in the Eastern Cape, The Biko Heritage Trail is comprised of seven Biko related sites, namely:

 

  • The Biko Statue, Oxford Street, East London
  • Biko Bridge, Settler’s Way, East London
  • Zanempilo Clinic, Zinyoka
  • Biko’s Home, Ginsberg Township, King William’s Town
  • Biko’s Office, 15 Leopold Street, King William’s Town
  • Biko’s Grave, The Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance, King William’s Town

 

These Biko related sites, along with the Steve Biko Centre, have received the active endorsement of community members, local authorities and the national government; some of these were declared national monuments in 1997 on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the death of Steve Biko. The Biko Heritage Trail consistently garners both local and international attention, and elements of the Trail were included in UNESCO’s interim list of World Heritage Sites.

 

For bookings and more information about the Biko Heritage Trail contact Steve Biko Centre Tour Guide, Ms. Asanda Mbaxa, on +27 43 605 6705 or email: ambaxa@sbf.org.za.

 

Steve Biko Centre Opening Hours 

 

Monday to Friday:           09:00 to 17:00

Saturday:                          09:00 to 13:00

Sunday:                             By appointment

 

Founding Principals

 

Vision

 

I Am Because You Are

 

Purpose

 

Enabling You To Take Your Place In The Circle

 

Values

 

1. The Past and the Future

“History works through people and we have availed ourselves to history to work through us”

 

2. Exploration, Analysis and Discovery

“As people existing in a continuous struggle for truth we have to examine and question old values, concepts and systems. Having found the right answers we shall then work for consciousness among all people to make it possible for us to proceed toward putting these answers into effect”

 

3. Independence and Interdependence

“We believe that in the long run the special contribution to the world by Africa will be in this field of human relationships”

 

Mission

 

Be recognised as the global Centre of excellence, rooted in Africa, advancing the link between self-discovery, agency and social change.

 

Approach

 

In recent years, much has been made of the skills shortage and leadership development challenges of post-apartheid South Africa.  Consequently, alongside the provision of access to traditional training grounds such as business schools, a number of programs have been developed to address these needs;  among  them are: the Sectoral Education Training Agencies (SETA); various youth councils; and leadership academies.

 

While these initiatives do address the skills and leadership challenges facing the nation, the reality is that they are geared toward producing professionals, not citizens.

 

Through its content and programming, the Steve Biko Centre seeks transports it audiences on a journey of discovery, described by Biko as a quest for true humanity. This is done through the use of the legacy of Biko together with the rich tapestry of African history, culture and heritage.

Acknowledgement

 

The Steve Biko Centre has been made possible through the generous support of the National Department of Arts & Culture, the lead sponsor in the project, as well as the National Lottery, National Department of Tourism, Buffalo City Municipality and Transnet.

 

Follow The Link Below To View Large Map To The Steve Biko Centre:

https://www.google.com/maps?ll=-32.892234,27.385077&z=17&t=m&hl=en-US&gl=US&mapclient=embed&cid=16270041119831257900