'Bra Willie, our dream maker through poems and literature' - Ramaphosa

2018-01-16 19:20
(Nation Nyoka, News24)

(Nation Nyoka, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Late poet laureate Kgositsile helped shape hip hop culture

2018-01-11 15:23

Poet laureat Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile died earlier this month at the age of 79. He will be remembered for his political activism, as well as his support and influence around Arts and Culture in South Africa post-1994. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - South African poet and activist Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile's acclaimed work formed part of the celebration of his life as speakers recited quotes from his poems and urged others to read his work.

Members of the ANC in Gauteng, which he worked with leading up to his death, attended the late poet laureate's funeral dressed in the governing party's trademark green, black and gold attire.

The artist's daughter-in-law Gail Mabalane read a letter to the poet from his wife Baby Kgositsile. In it, the professor's wife spoke about conversations they used to have and his final moments in hospital.

'My best friend, soul mate, lover'

"I know that you were my best friend, soul mate, lover... I will never forget your last hours on this earth. I held your hand and read to you," read Mabalane.

Celebrated South African jazz musician Jonas Mosa Gwangwa, who befriended the creative marvel, played one of his favourite songs in his honour.

Although the mood was sombre and many shed tears, Deputy President Ramaphosa said he knew Bra Willie, as he was fondly known, wanted a big celebration for what would have been his 80th birthday this year, suggesting that the celebrations must continue even in the form of a public lecture or festival to honour the fallen giant.

"His words are engrained in our hearts and minds. He will continue serving as a guiding light as we move forward to implement the dreams he had for our people," Ramaphosa said.

He delivered the eulogy at the artist and struggle activist's special official funeral on Tuesday.

Seventy-nine-year-old Kgositsile died on January 3, 2018, following a short illness.

'Words that challenged, inspired and provoked'

"His passing must be a reminder of an important role that writers and other artists play in our society," said Ramaphosa.

The deputy president, like several others before him, relayed stories of Bra Willie's life and involvement in South Africa's struggle for liberation. The professor left for exile at the age of 23 only to return to the country after three decades.

"He chose words that challenged, inspired and provoked," said Ramaphosa.

Several figures from both the political and artistic world also attended the funeral, these included former president Kgalema Motlanthe, the poet's ex-wife National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, ministers Jeff Radebe and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Economic Freedom Fighter's Dali Mpofu, and musicians Dorothy Masuka, Jonas Gwangwa and Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuza, many of whom shed tears during the funeral.

Ramaphosa also said Bra Willie's passing should serve as a reminder for South Africa to value its artists, urging for them to be celebrated while still alive.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  keorapetse kgositsile  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.