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Steve Biko’s 70th Birthday PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 December 2016 14:56

By Rasvanth Chunylall

Today marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Steve Biko, an anti-Apartheid activist, Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) founder and author. Biko died following a brutal interrogation session under police custody. He continues to inspire a number of people and organisations like the Economic Freedom Fighters who have been influenced by his BCM writings. His most notable books include I Write What I Like, Black consciousness in South Africa, The Testimony of Steve Biko and Escribo Lo Que Me Da LA Gana.

Pictured: Google's Steve Biko doodle

In honour of Biko Google has created a Google Doodle on their site’s homepage (pictured) to mark his birthday. #SteveBiko is currently trending on Twitter in the country and members of the public have paid tribute on the platform:


Don't forget #SteveBiko. How they stripped him naked, beat him senseless, threw him, half alive, in the back of a van & drove till he died.

— perfect hlongwane (@perfecthow) December 18, 2016


I don't think one can truly understand the horror of apartheid without reading all the literature on the last days of #SteveBiko life.

— Lindi Tout (@linditout) December 18, 2016


Great to see that #SteveBiko is on Google Doodle today in honour and commemoration of his 70th birthday today

— SteveBikoFoundation (@BikoFoundation) December 18, 2016


Biko is linked to several prominent anti-Apartheid activists and authors linked to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province like Jay Naidoo, Fatima Meer and Prithiraj R. Dullay.

From a KZN literary tourism point of view, the province marks several areas pertinent to Biko’s life. He graduated from St. Francis College (now the Mariannhill Secondary Independent School), a Roman Catholic institution in Mariannhill, KwaZulu-Natal. In 1966, he attended the Durban Medical School at the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal) Non-European section (UNNE) and it was here that he took part in the University student movement. In the early 1970s, he was a central figure in The Durban Moment, which formed an important part of the on-going struggle against Apartheid. Biko’s legacy in KZN includes the renaming of Mansfield road to his name in his honour. There is also a campus at the Durban University of Technology that bears his name.


We encourage you to take the opportunity to visit these areas in order to learn about the places that shaped Biko’s life.


KZN Literary Tourism features on #BetweenTheSheetsWithPamela Christmas Special 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 December 2016 23:08
Our research assistant, Rasvanth Chunylall, was a featured guest on Pamela Power's vlog, #BetweenTheSheetsWithPamela. On this Christmas Special episode he discussed the project and recommended Zinaid Meeran's "Saracen at the Gates" as an ideal Christmas present. His section can be viewed at 09:08:



Transcript of Rasvanth's section:

Hi, everyone. My name is Rasvanth Chunylall and I’m a research assistant at the KZN Literary Tourism project which is based here in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. A little about the project. We are a multi-faceted project which has conducted research on literary tourism, done reviews, interviewed authors, covered literary event and we’ve built up an online archive of authors linked to the KZN province. If you would like to learn more about the province, you can visit us on our website at You can also follow us on social media. Our Twitter handle is @literarytourism, our facebook is @literarytourism and if you’re more into Instagram you can follow us @kznliterarytourism.

So with Christmas just around the corner you’re probably wonder: What do I get? What do I get? What do I get? We have the perfect gift for a bookworm. It’s called “Saracen at the Gates” by Zinaid Meeran. It explores the life of a young woman from a prominent, rich, Muslim family living in Johannesburg. Now Zakira’s family expects her to be a humble and devoted daughter. But, Zakira would rather club, smoke, drink, party, and, essentially, live her life according to her own expectations. This life changes when she meets and falls in love with Sophie, a rebel activist. The book has been praised for its exploration of identity and its political incorrectness. Personally, I enjoyed the fact that Meeran is a master of satire. He really shows you the colourfulness of Joburg and all of its people.

On a final note I would like to say thank you to Pamela Power for having me on her vlog. So from us at KZN Literary Tourism have a wonderful festive season and lots of love.


Follow us on social media PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 December 2016 17:29

Don't forget to join KZN Literary Tourism on our social media platforms. We are constantly posting new content on our local authors, creating conversations and keeping up-to-date on the latest literary events happening in the province. Don't miss out!


Our platforms:

Facebook: @literarytourism

Twitter: @literarytourism

Instagram: @kznliterarytourism


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