Ode to Biko

Colin Jooste Observatory

Steve Biko

The deal life gave Steve was raw;

his dad died when he was only four!

After matriculating he entered medical school,

with all the hallmarks of one who was no fool!

The University of Natal non-Europeans section

where he was subjected to regular apartheid inspection.

Forming SASO South African Students Organisation

to educate black students about liberation;

elected in July ‘69 as its first president,

his task, every affiliate as one to cement.

March ‘73 sees Biko and SASO leaders banned!

Restricted to King Williams Town it was planned;

where he worked as BCP branch executive,

merely surviving, but he wanted to live!

Detained 101 days under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act,

with the apartheid regime he would not form a pact!

Honourary president of BPC Black People’s Convention

often charged, never convicted, yet kept in detention!

For the last time detained and taken to Port Elizabeth;

that he would be seen alive again was a mere myth!

He died 12 September ‘77 detained, naked and manacled!

His youthful remains with bruises and wounds riddled!

Coroner’s report read: cause of death: brain damage!

How is his widow and boys going to manage?

So young and in the prime of his life – only thirty;

A complete waste of intellectual property – what a pity!