Braai4Heritage Tour Day 32: East London

The Steve Biko memorial and East London City Hall.

We commemorated the shared heritage of both East London and King Williams Town, towns divided by 60 kilometers of tar yet united through one very prominent historical figure. Steve Biko, the originator of the African Black Consciousness Movement and martyr to the struggle against apartheid, was born, raised and captured here. The truth behind his death in police custody was unmasked by his friend Donald Woods and Hellen Zille (a young journalist at the time) and became a symbol of the oppression in the years leading up to 1994.

The Desmond Tutu TRC statue at the East London city hall.

We started the day at his statue in front of the East London City Hall. Biko’s statue is one of three on the grounds and shares the terrian with an Anglo Boer war memorial as well as one of Archbishop Desmond Tutu crying. This event transpired during day two of the Truth and Reconciliation hearings on 16 April 1996. The Arch chaired the TRC hearings and the first ever sessions were held in the East London City Hall. 

heaven

hell

Our excellent guide Velile from iMonti tours (http://www.imontitours.co.za/) explained the history and legacy of Steve Biko to us before taking us to the town of his birth, King Williams Town. We went to a Chisa Nyama called “Man Bring Braai” where we braaid club steaks thin cut and well done, the local way.

Club steaks. They were cut thin, spiced heavily and braaied well done. And surprisingly, tasted great.

We stayed at The Terrace and slept well that night (www.the-terrace.co.za, 043-735-4348).

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