This is the one I find the most arresting

  • Sunday, February 16, 2020
  • 0
I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry, it was drawing near
Behind his house, a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon he could never face
He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns, to keep it tame 

(Bright Blue)

(Photo: Sam Nzima)
Not all running is done for fun. In this iconic photo taken on June 16 1976 Mbuyisa Makhubo is running with the dying Hector Peterson, 12. They had been part of a demonstration by school children in Soweto, Johannesburg, protesting against apartheid during which he was gunned down by the police. Running next to them is Hectors sister Antoinette. I believe there were six photo's taken that day but this is the one I find the most arresting - mainly because of Antoinette's hand position, fingers splayed, palm outward. Somehow it conveys the anguish and the fear, she appears to be trying to ward them off, holding back the inevitability. I was eleven and nine years later my father moved us to South Africa where I was conscripted into the South African Defence Force. It was the worst time of my life but it was also where I forged my moral compass and the values and beliefs of equality and social justice that I hold today. Despite that, after nearly thirty years I am still full of bitterness, anger and isolation. I have a suppurating wound in my soul that I cannot heal. I will never forget and I will always remember June 16.


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