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TThe Eastern Cape is integral for many parts of our democratic history, from being the birth place to some of our first democratic leaders to being the place where democratic practices were first implemented. Three of these icons include former presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki and their friend Steve Bantu Biko. The death of Steve Biko in a prison cell in Pretoria in 1977 left an intellectual void in black consciousness thought leadership.
He may have left us at a tender age but our loss was also the gain of an immense plethora of knowledge and ideas about race, politics and black consciousness.
IIn keeping Steve Biko’s legacy alive, the Department of Arts and Culture partnered with the Department of Tourism to build the Steve Biko Centre, a brainchild of the Steve Biko Foundation.
The Centre is nestled in Steve Biko’s birth place, King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, and focuses on translating global interest in the legacy of anti-apartheid. It encapsulates the goals and legacy of the Steve Biko Foundation by taking the nation through a journey of remembrance and discovery.
Steve Biko Museum
MMore than a tourist attraction, it is a place of learning and performance, literally coming alive with music, dance and creative interpretations of South African history.
The state-of-the-art building boasts an archive centre, library resource centre, commemorative garden honouring human rights activists and a community media centre. The Centre aims to ensure that new generations of younger South Africans are educated about our turbulent political past and lost leaders, like Steve Biko.
This is one of many world-class museums South Africa can be proud of. The best thing about it is that it is open six days a week, and on Sunday, visitors can arrange for special visits. Entrance is free.
The AmaXhosa are part of three nations known as Nguni that are found in South Africa. The other two are AmaSwazi and AmaZulu. The AmaXhosa settled in the Eastern Cape and over time spread to the Western Cape.
The Ndebele of South Africa constitute one group of people whose identity has survived precarious conditions and existential crisis under the weight of changing power dynamics of internal and external factors from pre-colonial to present times.