'Keep up the fight‚' veteran activist and poet Serote tells protesters
Professor Mongane Wally Serote‚ the liberation struggle poet and ANC stalwart‚ says that South Africans should continue to protest and demand respect from the government.
“It is correct for people of South Africa to protest and demand the respect of their rights‚ freedom and peace.”
This comes after mass protests in the past few weeks across the country to put pressure on President Jabob Zuma to step down.
Serote spoke on Monday night after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) at its Auckland Park campus.
Serote was commended for his outstanding contributions to literature and philosophy in South Africa.
His celebrated works include the poems “City Johannesburg” and “Alexandra”‚ along with the novel “To Every Birth Its Blood” (1981)‚ based on the 1976 Soweto uprising. He has also published a collection of award-winning poetry.
Professor Serote told TimesLIVE that his literary breakthrough came after reading the novel “Things Fall Apart” by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe.
“I used to imitate and emulate Western authors because I did not believe that I could write about us‚ until that book. So I want to urge young people of this country to read everything and write.”
If he were to write a poem on the current political and economic conundrum‚ he would title it‚ “Allah South Africa”‚ which according to him demonstrates a “spiritual battle” faced by the people.
“Mongane Serote is a true African intellectual in the tradition of the African philosophic sage – a profoundly wise person. He is the embodiment of philosophy as the love of wisdom‚ in the context of both traditional and modern Africa‚” said Alex Broadbent‚ UJ professor of philosophy and executive dean of the faculty of humanities.
In a concerned voice‚ Serote left his audience with the question‚ “When will South Africa be a part of Africa?”
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