SA has failed Biko - Dana
South Africa's high poverty levels show we have failed Steve Biko's Freedom Charter, says outspoken award-winning singer Simphiwe Dana.
Dana said the country was in such a bad state of economic imbalance that one would think apartheid was still alive.
Speaking to Sowetan on the eve of Biko's death, Dana said: "The people are not sharing in the wealth of the country. Were it not for the fact that we now have black leaders, you would not be blamed for thinking apartheid was not over.
"The levels of poverty are shocking. Even our cosmetic welfare grant is showing strain. I believe Biko would have been at the forefront of the free quality education and healthcare movement.
"I believe Biko would have spearheaded the wealth redistribution movement."
Biko, an anti-apartheid activist and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, was brutally killed by police on September 12 1977 - 35 years ago today.
He mobilised the black youth in urban centres in the 60s and 70s and was behind the Freedom Charter ideology, which supported the equal sharing of wealth.
Dana is one of the few musicians who still preaches Biko's ideologies. This was affirmed by her recording of the song One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street.
"I commemorate Biko every day. I stand for the truth like he did. Biko was a hands-on guy, a doer, a visionary, a unifier. He had an intense love for the downtrodden."
She said Biko's ideologies needed to be taught at schools to better the country.
According to Dana, expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was one of the few politicians who represented what Biko stood for.
"Malema is making the right noises that relate to one aspect of Biko's philosophy - wealth redistribution.
"But he is no Biko.
"I'm sure there are many Bikos in South Africa today. They do things quietly, and some should really stand up and lead us."