Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dennis Brutus rests

After a most beautiful Christmas Day celebration with my brothers, our wives and children yesterday, I woke up this morning to the news that a Nigerian wanted to blow up a plane. As serious as at is, I was very pleased that he did not succeed. But as I was ready to swing back into the mood of the season, I learnt from the Blogazette Newsreel that Dennis Brutus checked out today. One of Africa's great poetic voices. He will be missed.

Dennis Vincent Brutus, 1924-2009
by Patrick Bond

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.

Even in his last days, Brutus was fully engaged, advocating social protest against those responsible for climate change, and promoting reparations to black South Africans from corporations that benefited from apartheid. He was a leading plaintiff in the Alien Tort Claims Act case against major firms that is now making progress in the US court system.

Brutus was born in Harare in 1924, but his South African parents soon moved to Port Elizabeth where he attended Paterson and Schauderville High Schools. He entered Fort Hare University on a full scholarship in 1940, graduating with a distinction in English and a second major in Psychology. Further studies in law at the University of the Witwatersrand were cut short by imprisonment for anti-apartheid activism.

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1 comment:

  1. thought you & your readers might be interested in a new documentary, Fair Play, which tells the story of the anti-apartheid movement sports boycotts Brutus played such a key role in. Here’s a trailer: