Alongside dialogue initiatives like the Steve Biko Memorial Lecture which takes place annually near the anniversary of his death on 12 September, the Biko Foundation is engaged in multiple programmes aimed at promoting the values Steve Biko lived and died for, restoring people to their true humanity.
Foundation CEO Nkosinathi Biko said: “In the tradition of Biko, the foundation works to empower individuals and communities to be active agents of change in their own lives and the life of the nation.”
In undertaking this, the foundation aims to promote public engagement on government policy, popular culture and race relations through a series of lectures and seminars.
At a community level, the foundation runs programmes that seek to nurture and develop community based leadership, especially among the youth, as an avenue for the civic participation in the political, economic and the cultural life of South African society.
With an office in Biko’s home province, Eastern Cape, the foundation has become a multi-faceted entity that reminds the world on an ongoing basis of Biko’s visionary ideas and their contemporary relevance.
Many of these ideas are encompassed in “I Write What I Like”, a compilation of Biko’s articles and speeches.
Recently, the Steve Biko Foundation has published a comic book to enable younger readers and South African learners to engage with his life, work and ideas.
One of Biko Foundation’s current and most ambitious projects to date is the development of the Steve Biko Centre, a national legacy project.
The centre is to be built near Biko’s home in Ginsberg Township, King William’s Town and will focus on translating global interest in the legacy of anti-apartheid activist Biko into a developmental resource for the region.
The foundation’s Director of Fundraising and International Partnerships, Obenewa Amponsah said the developmental agenda puts housing, electricity and water first and less emphasis is placed on the intangible, yet equally important aspects of heritage, culture and history.
The Steve Biko Centre will contribute to both facets of development, serving as an intellectual resource, while providing an economic opportunity for the region.
The centre will include a museum, an archive and library resource centre, a commemorative garden honouring human rights activists, training rooms, culture performance and production spaces, a community media centre and retail spaces.
The facility will also feature as the cornerstone of the Biko Heritage Trail.
This innovative initiative revolves around a series of Biko related sites in the Eastern Cape that have been declared national heritage sites and consistently earn both local and international attention.
Among these are the Biko Statue (Oxford Street, East London), Biko Bridge (Settler’s Way, East London), Zanempilo Clinic (Zinyoka), Biko’s Home (Ginsberg Township, King William’s Town), Biko’s Office (15 Leopold Street, King William’s Town) and Biko’s Grave (The Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance, King William’s Town). - BuaNews