The New York Times (NYT) an American daily newspaper, published a moving tribute to late Drum Magazine writer Nat Nakasa, just days before his human are due to be repatriated back to South Africa.
The NYT‘s Daniel Masseyaug painted a sombre picture of the day Nakasa died: “On a July morning nearly half a century ago, Nat Nakasa, a black South African living in exile in New York, plummeted from a seventh-story window on Central Park West and 102nd Street in Manhattan, suffering multiple fractures and internal injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Knickerbocker Hospital in Harlem. Mr. Nakasa was 28 years old. ”
Under the bold headline, ‘After Decades in Exile, a South African Writer’s Remains Will Head Home’, Masseyaug told the story of how Nakasa left South Africa. “The apartheid government wouldn’t allow his body to return home, so Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, the South African musicians then living in the New York area, and the photographer Peter Magubane collected funds from South African exiles and buried Mr Nakasa at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY, just feet from where Malcolm X had been laid to rest five months earlier.”
Now, Nakasa’s remains are set to be exhumed on Friday 15 August, and 16 August government officials and members of the Nakasa family will gather for a public memorial service at Broadway Presbyterian Church on West 114th Street, New York. His remains will then be returned to South Africa for reburial in September, near his childhood home in Chesterville, a township outside Durban.
“This will hopefully bring closure to a horrific chapter that has remained a blight on our history for almost 50 years,” South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, who is leading a delegation to New York in the coming week, told the newspaper.
“His homecoming is the restoration of his citizenship and dignity as a human being.”
– Source: nytimes.com