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“Steve Biko Taught Me to be Proud” – Bongani Madondo Reveals 5 Books that Shaped His Writing

I'm Not Your Weekend SpecialI Write What I LikeFrom Enid Blyton to Steve Biko, Bongani Madondo has shared the top five books that shaped his life with Vanguard.

The author of I’m Not Your Weekend Special: Portraits on the Life + Style and Politics of Brenda Fassie explains how the five books propelled his career from journalist to essayist: “Sometime I employ all these in one piece of work, sometimes mix and match pieces and fragments of each.”

One of the books that deeply affected Madondo’s writing style and voice is I Write What I Like by Steve Biko:

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Written with an aching soulful clarity, deeply felt, almost religious persuasion, and offering some of the deepest philosophical and everyday life arguments for the radical restoration of the Black Man/Woman’s pride, Steve Biko taught me to be proud and don’t take bullshit from anyone including fellow black folks.

I read it at the age of 15, again in the mid 1980s, and have re-read it over 20 times, since. Words can’t explain what that book did to me.

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