chapter  6
Stephen Biko explains ‘black consciousness’, 1971
Pages 3

Then we walked outside again and joined the other women who were waiting in the amphitheatre. All the women were quiet. 20,000 women standing there, some with their babies on their backs, and so quiet, no noise at all, just waiting. What a sight, so quiet, and so much colour, many women in green, gold and black, and the Indian women in their bright saris! Then Lillian started to speak. She told everyone that the prime minister was not there and that he was too scared to see us but that we left the petitions there for him to see. Then we stood in silence for half an hour. Everyone stood with his or her hands raised in the salute, silent – and even the babies hardly cried. For half an hour we stood there in the sun. And not a sound, just the clock striking. Then Lillian started to sing and we all sang with her. I’ll never forget the song we sang then. It was a song especially written for that occasion. A woman wrote it from the Free State. It went:

‘Wena Strijdom, wa’thinthabafazi, wathint’imbokotho uzokufa!’ That means: ‘You Strijdom, you have touched the women, you have struck against rock, you will die.’ Of course he did die, not long after that.