Steve Biko comes to life on Google

2012-10-10 22:24

Johannesburg - A series of previously unseen images of black consciousness leader Steve Biko were published by Google on Wednesday, 35 years after his death in police custody.

Titled Steve Biko: The Early Years, the exhibition - available via - provides a never-before-seen glimpse into the life of the revered leader who died at the age of 30 in September 1977.

It shows intimate material about the anti-apartheid giant's early years, ranging from school reports, testimonials from comrades and portraits of friends and family.

During his lifetime Biko's story remained a mystery to most South Africans, thanks to a ban on his book I Write What I Like, and even T-shirts bearing his image.

His death at the hands of the police prompted a wave of national and international outcry and highlighted the brutality of the apartheid regime.

After South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994, the policemen implicated in Biko's death applied for amnesty to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Biko is the second South African icon whose personal archives have been digitised by Google, after Nelson Mandela, whose personal archives came online earlier this year.

  • Shaun McDermott - 2012-10-10 23:19

    my oven is a Biko, strange.

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-10-11 00:25

    Steve Biko-a world icon.Steve Biko-my political hero.Biko-nyana kaMamcethe.Biko-may his legacy lives on.Biko-the champion of the poor.Steve Biko belongs to the top 'political' league in world politics.The league of Malcom X,Nyerere,NKrumah,OR Tambo,Sobukhwe and others.Steve Biko-the son of the soil. We need his spirit to remind us that corruption is killing our society

      chez.kri - 2012-10-11 11:37

      @Zolisa. I agree with you; this man is a true martyr. As a white girl growing up in the 70's in rural KZN, this great man's death opened my eyes to what was really going on in this country. I had never heard the name Nelson Mandela in our government controlled media but THIS man Biko, they could not hide from us. Viva Steve Biko Viva

  • nkululeko.k.mpungose - 2012-10-11 02:00

    Biko's death shows how white people are generally cruel. Yet they like to talk about ethics and morals. Nx hypocrites.

      Shaun Daly - 2012-10-11 07:44

      Anyone who has actually read his work would realize he'd be spinning like a top in his grave every time his name is associated with ignorant,whiny nonsense such as this.

      GordonT - 2012-10-11 07:45

      Sure, some are. Just like Shaka Zulu, Dingaan, and Csetshewayo who slaughtered not just their perceived enemies, but their entire families as well. I guess that's where the ANC has learnt from, and why the will persist in limiting opportunities for white children instead of trying to create new opportunities for all. This internal hatred and revenge destroys all South Africans, not just one group.

      chez.kri - 2012-10-11 11:35

      Racist moron

  • lala.kunene - 2012-10-11 03:19

    his spirit is still with us. He is the 2nd icon

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-10-11 10:46

      actually, he is the first icon, to me anyway. The previous security forces never played soft with those who seriously threatened them. Those men include the likes of Biko and Sobukwe. Unlike some old man who caught TB and was shifted from robben island to house arrest in cpt whilst still enjoying rendevous with de klerk at the waterfront, or that other famous trade Unionist whose budget now includes a few millions for exotic beasts. Biko did not preach the dismantling of apartheid as an in itself so we can take a piss next to a white man, he taught on self love and self appreciation, the valuing of one, mindful that we can never be free of apartheid if we did not destroy in each of us. History proves us right...look at the escalation of crime committed by blacks, even against blacks, the poor service delivery, even the black mailman will be kinder to a white person than to a black person. Look at BEE, a thinly veiled form of money laundering to transform public funds into private equity. Look at the Codes a talks and the transformation. All these show the deep seated insecurities black people have, we try to talk white, we try to behave white and even reason white, as if they are 'the' benchmark. But if we as a people saw the beauty in us that there is we would naturally move to help ourselves, improve ourselves. We have gone deaf to black cries trying to catch a few white smiles

      chez.kri - 2012-10-11 11:41

      @Gerald. Very well said. I am a white woman in this beautiful country and see all colours doing mad and crazy things. The spirit of Biko (as with Mandela, Tutu and the Dalai Lama) is peace, compassion, respect, tolerance and goodwill to all others, especially our children.

  • neo.mokami - 2012-10-11 06:21

    At 30 he did what majority of us only complain about behind keyboards. A hero worth noting.

      onlinebaas - 2012-10-11 08:57

      Well said. We are big talkers online, but shy away when we have to face our daily challenges.

      vambozha.mutemi.9 - 2012-10-11 11:15

      TRUE Neo

  • mzwandile.sazona.3 - 2012-10-11 11:15

    Tomorrow (12 September) we will remember the cruelity that we ever witnessed that has been committed by those today who want to profess to be the guardians of humnanity. Apartheid has rob us of one of the most brilliant and intellectual son of the soil who today could have contributed immensely in nurturing our democracy and created cohension in our societies. Long live the spirit of Biko.

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