FEBRUARY marks Black History Month, which is a national yearly observance to remember important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Marcus Garvey in his seminal article, The Fundamentals of African Nationalism, cogently argues that "the time has come for the black man to forget and cast behind his hero worship and adoration of other races, and to start out immediately to create and emulate heroes of his own".
The month of February is also important in the body politic of South Africa's liberation struggle. It was during this month in 1978 that one of South Africa's, nay, Africa's illustrious sons, the great and sagacious Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, the founding president of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, passed on to the pantheon of Africa's revolutionaries.
It is with sadness to notice that in a democratic South Africa Sobukwe is being reduced to a pariah, notwithstanding his immense contribution to the liberation of this country. There is a protracted effort to obliterate Sobukwe's contribution, forgetting that that which is written in blood cannot be blotted by cheap ink.
This is evidenced by a twofold conspiracy against him and what he stood for.
First is the conspiracy of silence by pretending that he never played a significant role in the liberation struggle to free South Africa from the clutches of apartheid and oppression.
If conspiracy of silence fails, they resort to conspiracy of distortion, by distorting everything that Sobukwe stood for. In life Sobukwe was a glorious embodiment of the best of our history.
Leslie S Kgapola