Stephen Bantu Biko died in police custody 41 years ago on September 12 1977. He remains one of our country's most iconic struggle heroes and his life and ideas continue to inspire generations.
Thousands of words have been written about Biko, but there are some facts about him that are not well known. These include:
1. HIS NAME MAKES A SENTENCE WITH THE NAMES OF HIS SIBLINGS
Biko was the third child of four children. The eldest is named Bukelwa, his older brother Khaya and his younger sister is Nobandile. Together, their names create the saying “Hayi ukuBukeka kweKhaya laBantu aBandileyo” which means “We admire the expanded family”.
2. HE WAS EXPELLED FROM SCHOOL
Despite the lack of evidence, authorities at Lovedale School accused Biko, his brother and 50 other students of supporting an organisation affiliated with the banned Pan Africanist Movement (PAC) and he was expelled aged 15. According to his brother, this event politicised Biko.
3. HIS SEMINAL WORK I WRITE WHAT I LIKE WAS PUBLISHED POSTHUMOUSLY
The work is a collection of Biko’s writings between 1969 and 1972 when he was the president of South African Student Organisation (Saso). He wrote under the pseudonym Frank Talk.