UNISA Honours Legacy of Biko



STEPHEN Bantu Biko may be gone, but his memory, ideals and work will be revered once again after Unisa conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (DLitt et Phil) on him posthumously.


Unisa conferred the honorary degree in memory of the Black Consciousness Movement doyen and martyr of the Struggle for liberation last night.


Following the conferment of the degree, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, renowned speaker, analyst, author and academic, delivered the 18th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture.


Mandaza reflected on the psychological aspect of black consciousness and Biko in the context of the current narrative of Africa rising and the challenges currently faced by Africa.


Black consciousness proponents, Professor Harry Nengwekulu, Thenjiwe Mtintso and Thoko Mpumlwana were also present.


Biko was an anti-apartheid activist who was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement.


His ideas were released in a series of articles published under the pseudonym Frank Talk.


Through his work, Biko was of the view that to avoid white domination, black people had to organise independently.


He was also instrumental in the creation of the South African Students Organisation in 1968.


The movement campaigned for an end to apartheid and the transition of South Africa toward universal suffrage and a socialist economy.


He was influenced by the work of psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer Frantz Fanon and the African-American Black Power movement.


Biko died in police detention on September 12, 1977, following his arrest by police at a roadblock near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape on August 18, 1977.


Numerous accolades have been bestowed in memory of the Struggle icon, including the Stevie Wonder Perpetual Award in 1978.



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