I always tell the story of how I got to know who Steve Biko was. Growing up on the turbulent streets of Gugulethu during apartheid, there was graffiti everywhere. There was one particular wall which had a very big graffiti tag in red paint that said, “Biko Lives”. I had often seen that wall but never paid much attention to it since it was just another name on the wall of the many missing and jailed freedom fighters of that time.
One day, when I was only 9 years old I walked passed that very same wall and noticed that ‘lives’ had been crossed out and “rots in hell” had replaced it in the very same red paint. It was because of that wall I started asking my mother who Steve Biko was and why he is rotting in hell?? This is how my social and political awareness began. This was the kind of information that was never taught in schools and our parents tried to shelter us from. This is also how my love affair with graffiti began.