Giving Compass’ Take:
• Nelson Mandela was not the only prominent South African activist, although probably the best-known. Global Citizen provides a list of other South Africans who are using music, art, and their own creativity as vehicles for their activism.
• How do these activists differ from Mandela? In what ways are they similar?
• Read about the ways in which Nelson Mandela’s legacy still resonates today.
Nelson Mandela’s name is one that people around the world recognize. The late Nobel Prize winner is, without a doubt, South Africa’s best known activist. He dedicated his life to fighting for equality and discrimination and is widely credited with bringing apartheid — the government-implemented system of racial segregation in South Africa — to an end.
But “Madiba,” as many affectionately call Mandela, was not South Africa’s only activist, and his legacy inspired future generations of champions for change in the country.
Here are a few South African activists — past and present — who have advocated for a better world:
- Winston Ntshona: In his lifetime, he used his art to spotlight the injustices of apartheid. Ntshona won a Tony for his performances in the plays Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and The Island, which brought to life on Broadway the oppression and suffering of those living under apartheid and in the notorious prison on Robben Island.
- Miriam Makeba: The all-white Apartheid government banned her albums and exiled her in an attempt to silence singer Miriam Makeba — but they did not succeed. During her three decades of exile, Makeba, who died in 2008, used her voice not just to entertain but to shine a light on the injustice of apartheid and racism elsewhere in the world.
- Zanele Muholi: Performance artists aren’t the only ones who have used their platforms to call for progress in South Africa. Zanele Muholi, a self-described “visual activist,” uses photography, video, and installations to spotlight South Africa’s LGBTQ community and the challenges it continues to face.
Read the full article about South African activists by Daniele Selby at Global Citizen
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