Steve Bantu Biko 44

The Photography Legacy Project (PLP) commemorates 44 years since the death of Biko’s in Pictures

The PLP commemorates the life and times of Steve Bantu Biko, 44 years after the struggle icon’s brutal death in detention by the apartheid South Africa’s security police, 12 September 1977. The PLP draws on material form it’s archival digital platform. This includes the extensive coverage of the funeral by Ralph Ndawo, images of Alf Kumalo and BAHA which have been assembled in a 5 minute slide show.

Steve Bantu Biko’s funeral attended by 20 000 was the first mass political funeral in South Africa. As thousands of mourners neared Biko’s burial town (Qonce), marching and singing freedom songs, they passed black youths standing solemnly along the road with their clenched fists raised. A number of prominent white activists attended, including Beyers Naude.

Significant in the PLP slide show is the archive of Ralph Ndawo, a peer of Peter Magubane and Alf Kumalo, who worked for Drum and the Rand Daily Mail. The archive, now digitised has been kept by his family for decades since his untimely death in 1980. Now digitised, it will soon be available on the PLP website –

Said Rachel Ndawo, daughter of the late Ralph Ndawo, “I am very pleased my father’s work which included documenting the Biko funeral and this moment in history will now be accessible for the world to see.”

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