THE LEGACY OF STEVE BIKO LIVES ON
Written by: Venal Naidu
Umtapo in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) held the annual 2017 Steve Biko Seminar at the DUT’s Hotel and Catering School, Ritson Campus.
The theme for this year’s seminar was labelled ‘The quest for true humanity continues’. Members from Umtapo, delegates and students were all in attendance as presentations in relation to Steve Biko and what he stood by were carried out.
Leigh-Ann Naidoo, a Phd student at the School of Education from WITS University whose work consists of building political movements the formation of the Black Conscious Movement, spoke about the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and Steve Biko in relation to education and consciousness.
Naidoo hopes that people go back continuing to talk radically and talk about and learn from the past.
“The thing to take back is to continue with radical conversation we need to be able to look back into our radical histories of resistance to learn not to replicate them to learn from them,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo also said that the theme ‘The quest for true humanity’ or the revolution is a never ending quest.
Mphutlane wa Bofelo, South African poet and essayist, cultural worker and social critic who is influenced and inspired by Black Consciousness, presented on ‘A Black Consciousness Perspective on Socioeconomic Transformation in South Africa’.
Bofelo wishes students thought differently and develop new traits from his presentation.
“I want students to know they have the power, the capacity to think and act differently from what the system expects them to think and act so people can develop a different language, a language of harmony and a language a respect and dignity from this seminar,” said Bofelo.
Deena Soliar, founding member and director of Umtapo who was part of the organising committee for the seminar, said that these seminars take months of planning and preparation and the main aim is to continue what Steve Biko stood by.
“This seminar largely to keep the memory and legacy of Steve Biko alive at the same time it’s to generate discussion and dialogue about the things Steve Biko stood by,” said Soliar.
Marjan Boelsma, patron of Umtapo and former chairperson of the AZANIA KOMITEE, reflected on the 40th anniversary of Steve Biko from a global perspective.
*Caption: All speakers from the seminar standing together, from left: Leigh-Ann Naidoo, Dr James Marsh chairperson of Umtapo, Mphutlane wa Bofelo, Marjan Boelsma and Deena Soliar. Picture by Mbuso Kunene.