Stephen Bantu Biko, also known as Steve Biko, born on the 18th of December in 1946, was a well-known anti-apartheid activist in the country of South Africa. His activity spread from 1960 until the late 1970s when he died on the 12th of September, 1977 while being held in police custody.

Early Life

Biko was a student leader, and he would later go on to found the BCM – this is short for the Black Consciousness Movement. This managed to mobilize a wide range of the urban population of South Africa. Biko was regarded as the martyr of the popular anti-apartheid movement. He dedicated his life to the production of work which empowered black people. He was famous for some of his most inspirational slogans such as “black is beautiful”.

Now, even though Biko was never an actual member of the ANC (African National Congress), the latter considered him to be a very inspirational and motivational hero in the field of anti-apartheid movement. The congress would go on to use his image in its popular campaign posters in the first-ever non-racial elections. This was held back in 1994. In fact, Nelson Mandela went on to say that Biko had to be killed in order to forcefully prolong the life of the apartheid.


Initially, Biko was first involved with a multiracial union of students, but then he thought that people from Indian, Black and Colored descent needed their own organization. That’s why he helped with the founding of SASO (South African Students’ Organization). The agenda of the organization included self-reliance in terms of politics as well as the overall unification of universities with people from this descent. He also became a very influential member of the so-called Durban Moment in the early 1970s. In any case, he had an active anti-apartheid life until his death in 1977.

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