Mama Nontsikelelo Biko honoured

Mrs Nontsikelelo Biko (R) and Mrs Zanele Mbeki at the 19th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of South Africa in Tshwane.
Mrs Nontsikelelo Biko (R) and Mrs Zanele Mbeki at the 19th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of South Africa in Tshwane.
Image: via Twitter/Steve Biko Foundation

The widow of apartheid activist and Black Consciousness Movement leader Stephen Bantu Biko, Mama Nontsikelelo Biko, was on Friday night honoured for her community activism by the National Heritage Council (NHC).

The award was announced at the Golden Shield Heritage Awards 2018 in Kimberley in her absence, but was received by her grandson Avela Biko on her behalf.

Mama Biko could not attend the event as she was in Pretoria attending the memorial lecture of her late husband delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the University of South Africa.

This comes after the country celebrating the life of her late husband on Wednesday, September 12, the day he died at the hands of the apartheid police.

Mama Biko was instrumental in the establishment of the Steve Biko Foundation which focuses on leadership development.Presenting the award NHC chief executive officer (CEO) Sonwabile Mancotywa said: “She is the second woman after Mama Winnie Mandela to be recognized as such.”

He said that the NHC next week will descend on the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg to deliver the award and honour her “properly”.

“She has actually ensured that the values that Steve Biko stood for are becoming a reality. The foundation that she established has finished 20 years, and that is remarkable,” he said.

The award ceremony, held during Heritage Month, celebrates selfless South Africans that promote heritage.

“These awards are about honouring our own heritage. Gone are the days that we think that anything coming from west is the best. So this is about ensuring that we emphasize the importance of heritage,” Mancotywa said.

Also honoured on Friday night was Mdantsane born and bred Bathandwa Kwababa for her role in heritage education in and around Mdantsane.

Speaking with DispatchLive at the venue Kwababa said she was delighted that her efforts were being recognised at a national level.

Kwababa educates high school pupils on cultural diversity and the country's heritage.

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