Biko has become the latest fashion icon

T-shirts bearing the image of Steve Biko, a symbol of black resistance, who was killed by apartheid police, can be found for sale at flea market stalls and exclusive boutiques across South Africa.

T-shirts bearing the image of Steve Biko, a symbol of black resistance, who was killed by apartheid police, can be found for sale at flea market stalls and exclusive boutiques across South Africa.

The question is whether the latest fashion is a sign the post-apartheid youth culture is embracing Biko's message of racial pride and African unity, or just crass commercialization of one of the most important figures in the country's history.

Biko died of a brain injury in a cell in Pretoria Central Prison in 1977 after being beaten and tortured by police.

At 22, Kenneth Mulaudzi was born after Biko's death, and was still a boy when apartheid ended in 1994. In a trendy Johannesburg store over the weekend, Mulaudzi eyed a R200 T-shirt bearing Biko's image.

"It's not just a fashion statement. It is also a political statement," Mulaudzi said. "Young people are proud of him. He is a hero. He fought for us." - AP

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