And Still I Rise

This project is an autobiography. Whilst it is inevitably centred around me, it is however not about me. It is an attempt to tell the story of our people in the time that I lived, and my role in that part of our collective story. As a result, incidents and events of national importance, epochs in the history of our people, will be dealt with in some depth to allow readers to understand the significance of those events. This is to also ensure readers find the linkage of how what may have happened to a young boy in a far away village linked with the national black pain and the national struggle to end that pain. And the role of that boy in that struggle.

The book chronicles my life from birth on a white owned farm, my life in a freehold township that is destroyed in the 60’s as part of the national mass removals that saw over 3,5 million black people shunted from home to new homes and to nowhere.

I discuss the removals from Masagani in then Louis Trichardt and link that to both Sophiatown and District Six and how I end up in a rural area herding goats. The book traces my schooling, and my quest for reading which leads me to political literature which leads to activism that saw detention, torture, banishment and the thrill of journalism where I was being paid for doing what I truly loved.

Reading led me to Black Consciousness and this is discussed in some detail in the early stages of the book as this explains my orientation and my actions throughout my life.

It delves into trade unionism through my own organisation Mwasa, and the fight for agricultural workers rights through the Nactu affiliated Farm Workers Union. The book will highlight a number of journalistic works that I produced and what motivated them and how they were produced and their impact.

Project leader(s):
  • Mathatha Tsedu (Journalist, Writer-in-residence)

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