Mthethwa: Joe Mafela demonstrated that black lives matter

Mthethwa: Joe Mafela demonstrated that black lives matter

In his tribute to the late Joe Mafela, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the legend managed to break down barriers during the Apartheid era.

Nathi Mthethwa
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“In his own way, he demonstrated that black lives matter by asserting characters with powerful personalities, he fought a system that had sought to belittle and denigrate black lives.”


Mthethwa said due to the work done by people like Mafela, more lack actors were able make their mark in the industry.


“He affected a quiet revolution because for the first time black characters were being depicted on their own terms and not through the eyes of others far away from their country. How hard it must have been when he started his artistic journey more than 50 years ago, when the impact of colonial segregation and Apartheid polices had led to the dispossession of the African majority. For him, art was an answer,” said Mthethwa.


Mthethwa said both Ahmed Kathrada and Joe Mafela wanted the fight against racism to continue.

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“As we say goodbye to extraordinary and exemplary South Africans, we must strengthen our commitment to building anew. They would have wanted us to continue fighting racism and discrimination is all aspects of our national lives. They would have wanted to us to fulfil their dreams of a peaceful and prosperous country.”


Mthethwa told mourners for the nation to succeed, arts and culture must be taken seriously.


“We believe that for us to realise our goals both the young and the old must be organised. We have a living legends legacy program  for the old and last year we launched the young patriots program of South Africa which will bridge the gap between the young and the old. Bra Joe represents that nurturer of a national will,” he said. 

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