Premier blasts women

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Nkosana Lekotjolo

Steve Bantu Biko once said black people should "love their skin colour" to free themselves from mental slavery.

This was said by Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela during the 12th national heritage celebrations in Grahamstown on Monday.

She said while Biko empowered Blacks to love their skin in order to break from the shackles of oppression, Heritage Day is relevant for black people to continue fighting for their identity.

"As we celebrate our heritage today, we should fight against the mentality of our women who use commercial cosmetics to lighten up their skins, so that they can look like white people," she said.

"We must be proud of our skins and teach our children to do the same."

Among the dignitaries who braved the cold weather, were Minister of Correctional Services, Ngconde Balfour, MEC for sports, recreation, arts and culture, Noxolo Abrahams-Ntantiso, other members of the Eastern Cape's executive council, honourable Nkosi Ngangomhlaba-Matanzima and traditional leaders.

Balindlela said this year's Heritage Day was very special, in that it took place during the 30th anniversary of the late "comrade" Steve Biko.

Biko, who was the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, died at the Pretoria Central Prison in 1977.