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A Star of Freedom

17 January 2010 17 January 2010 Tags: , No Comment Print This Post Print This Post

“There will come a time we believe

When the shape of the planet

and the divisions of the land

Will be less important;

We will be caught in a glow of friendship

a red star of hope

will illuminate our lives

A star of hope

A star of joy

A star of freedom”

Dennis Brutus, “There will come a time”

World-renowned political organizer and one of Africa’s most celebrated poets, Dennis Brutus, died early on December 26 in Cape Town, in his sleep, aged 85.  He was an outstanding reader of his own work and a passionate, forceful advocate and activist to the very end.  Brutus’ political activity initially included extensive journalistic reporting, organizing and, after being banned in SA,  he fled to Mozambique but was captured and deported to Johannesburg. There, in 1963, he was shot in the back while attempting to escape police custody memorably in front of Anglo American Corporation headquarters where he nearly died while awaiting an ambulance reserved for blacks. While recovering, he was held in the Johannesburg Fort Prison and later transferred to Robben Island where he was jailed in the cell next to Nelson Mandela. Later, forced into exile, Brutus resumed simultaneous careers as a poet and anti-apartheid campaigner in London and then in the US.  Following the political transition in the SA, Brutus resumed activities with grassroots social movements there.

“Most cruel, all our land is scarred with terror,

rendered unlovely and unlovable;

sundered are we and all our passionate surrender

but somehow tenderness survives.”

Dennis Brutus, in a poem from “Sirens, Knuckles, Boots,”

Vincent Moloi

Excellent 50-minute documentary I Am a Rebel, that can be viewed below, is produced by Vincent Moloi,  South African filmmaker who is a part of a new breed of filmmakers exploring new styles in his medium. His work is stamped with his signature – a youthful, adventurous and yet concise attitude.

Written by Mark Bajkowski.
Mark, born in Poland, is a Jack of all trades, master of none, who lives in New York since 1979. Mark has an unusually wide range of interests and is known to relate well to the people half of his age. Since his early childhood, he felt a curious relation to Africa, which unavoidably brings up the controversial subject of multiple life experiences.

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