Stephen Biko – 29 Years Ago Today

UPDATED September 12, 2010: 33 years ago today…

In all the attention given to the victims of Muslim terrorists on 9/11 every year (and rightly so), the September 12th anniversary of Stephen Biko’s murder by police usually goes unmentioned. BFP’s Robert remembers though…


Beaten To Death By South African Police – September 12, 1977

I was a child when he was murdered, so I did not know the name Stephen Biko until much later – when a White Jewish Zulu named Johnny Clegg joined an African band called Savuka.

Neither did I know the names Victoria Mxenge, Neil Aggett and so many, many more. Or about “banning” and other such things.

If you do not know of Stephen Biko, Victoria Mxenge, Neil Aggett or of a white Jewish Zulu (now there’s a combination!) named Johnny Clegg – and what each of them stand for, then I invite you to pass by the following links…

Wikipedia entries for…

Stephen Biko

Victoria Mxenge

Neil Aggett

Johnny Clegg


Asimbonanga (We have not seen him)
Asimbonang’ uMandela thina (We have not seen Mandela)
Laph’ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph’ehleli khona (In the place where he is kept)

Oh the sea is cold and the sky is grey
Look across the Island into the Bay
We are all islands till comes the day
We cross the burning water


A seagull wings across the sea
Broken silence is what I dream
Who has the words to close the distance
Between you and me


Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge
Neil Aggett
Asimbonang ‘umfowethu thina (we have not seen our brother)
Laph’ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph’wafela khona (In the place where he died)
Hey wena (Hey you!)
Hey wena nawe (Hey you and you as well)
Siyofika nini la’ siyakhona (When will we arrive at our destination)


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Politics & Corruption

7 responses to “Stephen Biko – 29 Years Ago Today

  1. passin thru

    Thank you BFP

  2. cat eyes

    I watched Cry Freedom four times and still cannot come to grips with the unspeakable cruelty perpetrated in South Africa. In the period 1985-87 I wore a yellow badge “Free Nelson Mandela” on my clothes till it left rust spots on nearly every outfit. At that time many Barbadians did not know who Mandela was, so that badge gave me the opportunity to spread the information and to do my part in raising the consciousness of many. I did the demonstration thing in New York and Virginia and cried like a baby the day Mandela walked out of jail.
    It is unfortunate that the main stream media in Barbados refuses to acknowledge these dates in history; we had our fill of 9/11 Monday and yesterday. I suppose a Steve Biko feature would have to be packaged by AP for the press to carry it, when a local reporter could do some research a bang out a little reminder feature on the event.
    Kudos to you, BFP and thanks.

  3. BFP

    Thank you, cats eyes.

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  5. Cat eyes, I have also watched it and cried just like you did. The world seems to be in a tailspin and it doesn’t look like we have learned anything from history.

  6. runner

    Peter Gabriel ‘s great song “Biko” .

    But here is where we are at , just april this year :

    and look at this : from BFP’s good friend Pamela Geller as they made the 9/11 connection:

    some shameless people

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