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How do we remember Onkgopotse Abram Tiro?

Onkgopotse Abram Tiro. Gallo Images

By Andile Mngxitama

Exactly 46 years ago today in Botswana, a bomb went off and took the life of our hero and brother Onkgopotse Abram Tiro. The bomb was sent by the apartheid government on behalf of the white community as a whole. Tiro like Steve Biko was a liberation fighter and a founder of Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa (SA).

Tiro was forced into exile by the apartheid regime but it was not satisfied so it sent its spy, Craig Williamson, to its dirty work. Craig is alive and is a business partner to Adriano Mazzotti.

Craig is alive. Tiro is not. This raises the question, how do we remember Tiro? A victim of an evil system, or a liberation soldier who must be avenged?

Tiro knew how brutal the apartheid regime was. When he took a stand, he knew that he was putting his life on harm’s way. But, for him the liberation of black people was more important than the preservation of his life. He gave his life so that we may be free.

We would do well not to remember Tiro as a mere victim. He was essentially a freedom fighter. The only way we can pay tribute to him is to fight to reach the objective he was prepared to die for: Black Power!

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.

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