A group of wits Fallist writers launched their book book ‘Rioting and Writing: Diaries of the Wits Fallists’ at the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto last weekend. The launch saw a conversation between Fees Must Fall, local high school students and 1976 student activists, with poetry, song and music.
The book launch was attended by many learners from Morris Isaacson and Naledi schools in Soweto. Some of the school students, who had read the book beforehand commented to applause. Comments included:
''The students made history, and then they made it in the other sense by writing their own history of what they did”
“If I manage to get a bursary next year I’ll definitely be a Fallist”
Antoinette Sithole, an activist involved in the 1976 student uprising in Soweto, gave the keynote address. Sithole recounted her story of the uprising, the events that lead to June the 16th and the shooting of her younger brother, Hector Pieterson, by apartheid police on that day. This was followed by a discussion about the book with some of the contributors who outlined their chapters and what they wrote about.
In providing an overview of the book Crispen Chinguno, who was a contributor and part of the editorial collectively, highlighted that the ‘Writing and Rioting’ was about drawing on and writing about the experiences of black students by themselves. As put by the editorial collective, this ‘is a unique book written and grounded on the particular positionalities, experiences and perspectives of some of the protagonists of the #FMF movement’.
If you missed the Soweto Launch, you can catch the second launch of the book at Wits University on the 27th of July 2017. ‘Writing and Rioting: Diaries of the Wits Fallists’ is available for purchase from the SWOP Offices at Wits University. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
All pictures courtesy of William Matlala