Steve Biko Tribute Poem by Rev. Micheal Weeder

This is a poem written and recited by Rev Michael Weeder, the Dean of St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, on September 14th.

Born of Mathew and Alice 'Mamcete'; brother  
to Bukelwa and Khaya and Nobandile, the lastborn.
Death ambushed you on the road of your own Via Dolorosa:

The way of suffering beyond Nongqawuse’s place of sorrow
to where the surplus-city, Dimbaza, uncovered the secrets of evil.
And on a good day you danced like a Joburg kleva

from Ginsberg to Keiskammahoek and everyplace in-between
to where, finally, the handcuffs of Pretoria bound you
at a place just beyond Makana’s Kop. Biko,

our forever young, our courage when prophets
sought shelter in mansions of silence; Biko,
our pride when the dirt of propaganda kissed deception,

bowing our heads ‘neath the weight of shame. Biko,
they killed your body. And we wept at the sight of your dark,
bruised and beaten beauty.

And now. All over this forsaken Azania, you, like resurrection hymns,
like the promise of empty graves, like the sound of the marching poor –
you come singing our forgotten songs ...
Biko burnt bright
in the night of oppression.

Walter Rodney,
Maurice Bishop
in the Spring
of our longing.

Blessed Biko
no lies.
no truth
other than

that victory
shall come forth
from the heart
of the struggle
of the love
of the people.


© Michael Weeder, Sunday 14 September 2014.

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