On 12 September 1977, Stephen Bantu Biko was killed in detention by the apartheid regime. Steve Biko gave us black consciousness. Black consciousness calls for a total overhaul of the anti black system, as a medium for the realization and achievement of the freedom of blacks, and replacing it with a system that is responsive to the total needs of blacks. It involves a process of the transcendence of black self-hatred through the principled united action of blacks (African, “Colored” and “Indian”) It is also the realization that freedom can only be attained by ending the black condition and the concepts by which such a condition is structured.
On 23 September 1828 Shaka Zulu was killed. He was a resilient leader of his people. To this end he was also one of the greatest military leaders in history. Through his radical legacy he inspired the victory of the battle of Isandlwana which was led by King Cetshwayo against the British invasion of Zululand in 1878.
On 9 October 1967 Ernesto Che Guevara was executed by a CIA operative in Bolivia after his guerrilla fighters were defeated in combat. Che’s political thought and ideological perspective includes focus and expansion on the questions of: struggle against the bureaucracy; the economic significance of imperialism; the military tactics of guerilla warfare, and; the role of the party and cadres In the building of socialism.
On October 19, 1977 18 black consciousness organizations were banned by the apartheid regime.The death of Steve Biko on 12 September 1977, threatened to unleash the fury of the people (in a new wave of protests) as a mighty force for revolution. The apartheid regime responded on October 19, 1977 by banning 18 black consciousness organizations.
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was born on December 5, 1924. He was a founding member and leader of the Pan-African Congress. His great legacy can be located in his courage and ability to move the dispossessed colonized people to revolt as evidenced by the Sharpeville protest which exposed the brutality of the white supremacist regime. Sobukwe died in Kimberley, Northern Cape on February 27, 1978.
On 17 December 1663 Queen Nzinga (Nzinga Mbande) died. Queen Nzinga was the monarch of the Mbundu people of Angola from 1626 to 1663. She was a brilliant tactician and revolutionary leader who led the resistance against the Portuguese slave trade in Central Africa
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924) was born on April 22, 1870 and died on January 21, 1924
The struggle of the Socialist October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew Russian capitalism and landlordism, was led by the V.I. Lenin. Lenin was exemplary as a leader of the working class and of the oppressed masses in general and to this end demonstrated his grasp of Marxism which included revolutionary strategy and tactics as well as the building of the mass movement in the development of the struggle. His leadership was characterised by his ability to meld theory with practice. Lenin maintained that there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory, and that revolutionary theory delinked from the organized mass struggle is to no revolutionary end.
The Battle of Isandlwana, which was essentially a battle against colonial land theft, occurred on 22 January 1879. The British lost the war, despite being technologically superior in terms of weapon capability, to the indigenous KwaZulu-Natal army. About 22,000 warriors led in battle by King Cetshwayo kaMpande defeated approximately 1,350 colonial troops. This halted the first British invasion of Zululand. Isandhlwana, was a spark that started the decolonization and de-racialisation of stolen black lands. The victory at Isandhlwana gave inspiration to many African resistance struggles, including: The Bhambatha Rebellion of 1906 ; The Maji Maji from 1905- 1907 (waged against German colonialism in East Africa) was also influenced by this victory; the Algerian War of Independence of 1954 – 1962. Regarding the Algerian experience it must be stated that the Fanonian ideological perspective too saw abstraction from the Isandhlwana legacy.The Isandhlwana Rebellion also inspired the development of the art of war in Africa. To this end the armed struggle engaged by African liberation movements drew from the legacy of this rebellion. To this end the Mau-Mau guerrilla warfare in Kenya (1952 – 1956), and; the first and second Chimurenga wars of the 1890s and 1970s in Zimbabwe. Moreover: the resistance struggles in the Asante capital of Kumasi where the British were held captive for
four months before they were rescued by reinforcements; the eight year battle against the French led by Samoure Toure in West Africa; the resistance against colonialism in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and in Kenya; the German occupation in Namibia and the British inflicted genocidal wars against the inhabitants of the Cape Colony, are all instructive.
Onkgopotse Abram Tiro was born in 1947 and assassinated by the apartheid regime via a parcel bomb in Botswana on 1 February 1974. He was one of the main leaders instrumental in the creation of the black power movement in South Africa. His legacy served as an inspiration for the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprisings. To this end he politically groomed Tsietsi Mashinini who later became one of the great leaders of the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprisings. During his historic speech at the 1972 university graduation ceremony Tiro boldly condemned the white supremacist bantu education system as being anti black. He was consequently expelled from university. He then taught black history at a school in Soweto and thus raised the revolutionary consciousness of his students.
The Bambatha rebellion started when the indigenous people living in the Mpanza Valley in the Greytown district of Zululand, led Chief Bambatha kaMancinza and with the support of the other chiefs in the area, challenged British colonialism and the imposition of the ‘Poll Tax’ in 1906. To this end in January 1906 white farmers were legally authorized to occupy Zululand and the Bambatha Rebellion then occurred from February to August 1906. The Bambatha rebellion saw the British colonialists responding to the challenge of the people with a campaign of brutality so as to prevent them from trying to correct the unjust and criminal situation they were experiencing. The people fought bravely together with their chief against the British and in this regard used the Nkandla Forest and Mome Gorge as bases. It was at Mome Gorge where Bambatha and his soldiers were ultimately defeated