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The erasure of Black Power from June 16

Image: Khotso Seatlholo (left) and Tsietsi Mashinini (right), leaders of the June 16 uprising

Andile Mngxitama

I once wrote a coloumn in the Sowetan under the heading “the kwaitofication of June 16”. The ANC government governs through erasure of history and thought. That the children of Soweto do not know the names Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seathlolo is a deliberate stupification of the youth.

Last year I asked the learners of my lmamater Mngcube high school, who led the 1976 uprising? Many said, “Sarafina”. One was adamant that it was me who led the students. This ignorance is deliberately created to build the unquestioning youth with no capacity for critical reflection. That’s why most are either being destroyed by Nyaope or following uncritically any leader who makes the loudest noise.

The youth have been depoliticised. That’s why June 16 is not Black Power Day but the innocuous Youth Day.

We must teach the children…

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF) a radical black consciousness organization. When using any of Black Opinion’s content, partly or in full, kindly always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.