Thirty-five years ago the founding father of Black Conciousness in South Africa Stephen Bantu Biko died most cruelly in the hands of apartheid police - that was on 12 September 2012.
Since then, 12 September is annually commemorated as Biko Day.
On Biko Day of each year an array of activities are organised in the country and elsewhere in the world to celebrate the life and times of this martyr of the South African struggle for freedom and democracy.
It is sad that Biko's death denied him the opportunity to see the dawn of freedom and democracy. His absence when freedom and democracy came opened space for opportunists to open non-debates on where would he be and what would he do if he were alive.
These opportunists attempt to cover their political impotence by invoking Biko's name.
In recent times Biko and the philosophy of Black Conciousnes have developed increased importance as rallying points to unfulfilled dreams. Books and lectures about him and the legacy he has bequeathed the world abound.
Biko and Black Conciousness have outgrown the narrow and self-serving clutches of those who claim to be the sole and authentic custodians of his legacy. Instead Biko and Black Conciousness have soared to the level of giving us everything from fashion statements to the African Renaissance.
Those who only yesterday were his etractors and accused him of being an agent of American imperialism, today find him a useful prop to bolster their waning political fortunes.
As we approach 12 September 2012, let us reconnect with Biko and Black Conciousness. We need this reconnection more today than we've ever needed it during the struggle for freedom and democracy.
We need Biko and Black Conciousness to resurrect the vision of our struggle for freedom and democracy. We need to have our humanity fully restored to give content and meaning to our new found freedom and democracy.
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