Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Young Steve Biko

Stephen Bantu Biko was born on December 18, 1946 in the Kingwilliamstown, Cape Province of South Africa. He was born the third child and second son of Mr. and Mrs. Mzimgayi Biko. Unfortunately, Stephen would never come to know his father who died when Stephen was only 4 years old. Stephen’s mother was a maid, but she made certain that the young Stephen would receive an education. Education was not free at that time for Black children. Parents had to pay monthly fees to send their children to school. This was often a difficult task for the overwhelmingly poor conditions that existed among many native South Africans. Families often resorted to selling chickens and other livestock just to ensure an education for their children. Stephen received his primary and secondary education in the Kingwilliamstown region before moving on to the Lovedale Institution in Alice. It was at Lovedale that Stephen received a “Bantu” Education. Essentially, a Bantu Education teaches the native how to serve the ruling minority. It was not designed to prepare students for higher education, but to keep them in their place. His formative education was received at the Roman Catholic Mariannhill, in Natal.
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