Take up your responsibility for the country's sake‚ says Sobukwe

The grandson of Robert Sobukwe‚ Tshepo Sobukwe‚ has urged South Africans to avoid leaving the responsibilities of their own emancipation to the leaders‚ as it leaves them vulnerable to opportunists.

Sobukwe was speaking at the 10th annual Robert Managaliso Sobukwe lecture at Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg on Wednesday.

“I feel like at times we leave responsibilities of our own emancipation to our leaders‚” Sobukwe said‚ before launching a scathing attack on politicians‚ whom he accused of using names such as his father’s to advance their careers.

Also read: Robert Sobukwe's home town honours his legacy

 “The danger of this complacency leaves us vulnerable to opportunists who quote our heroes for the sole purpose of furthering their own interests. As this country heads to the local government elections‚ the selfish abuse of these fallen heroes will become commonplace from political guys vying for political power.”

Sobukwe said the public tend to over-memorialize the fallen heroes. “Though important‚ as it acknowledges their contribution to Africa‚ it often robs us of the opportunity to interrogate their legacies. In avoiding this interrogation‚ demi-gods are created and their accomplishments are seen as superhuman.”

Sobukwe said this hero worship is dangerous. “This leads to some sense of complacency where we find scapegoats to justify the current situation.”

The event was organised by the Sobukwe Trust in conjunction with the Steve Biko Foundation and the University of Fort Hare. The event was initially meant to be held at Fort Hare in Alice where Robert Sobukwe studied‚ but due to the volatile situation on campus‚ it was moved to Ginsberg.

Julius Garvey — the son of American activist Marcus Garvey — was the main speaker at the event. He urged Africans to play a major role in the development of Africa and to change the notion that Africa cannot survive on its own without the support from the West.


- TMG Digital/Daily Dispatch


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