Nat Nakasa’s Remains

The remains of the anti-apartheid journalist Nat Nakasa have been returned to South Africa from the US. Here we will talk about Nat Nakasa’s remains.

He got a year’s fellowship to study journalism at Harvard University in 1964 and took his life a year later in New York at the age of 28.

The apartheid government had refused to give him a passport so he had left on an exit permit.

which meant he was unable to go home.

His Journey

Nat Nakasa’s RemainsNakasa started his career in Durban and later moved to Johannesburg where he worked for Drum magazine and other publications.

A member of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association forms a guard of honour around the coffin containing the remains of anti-apartheid and former Drum magazine journalist Nat Nakasa in a marquee at the King Shaka.

Nat Nakasa’s Remains

He received a Hero’s welcome

At the service, South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister NathiMthethwa said it was the closure of a “horrific chapter of our history”.

South African police carry the coffin containing the remains of anti-apartheid and former Drum magazine journalist Nat Nakasa at the King Shaka International airport on 19 August 2014 in Durban, South Africa.

It is fitting that one of the country’s most celebrated writers should return home. As South Africans celebrate 20 years of freedom.

He once wrote: “I may shut up for some time because of fear. Even this will not make me feel ashamed. For I know that as long as the ideas remain unchanged within me. There will always be the possibility that, one day, I shall burst out and say everything that I wish to say.”

More On His Remains

The return of his remains is also a reminder of the many men and women who died in exile during apartheid. Far from their families.

I imagine he would be as critical of today’s social ills as he was of those in the 1960s. But I also imagine he would call on South Africans to celebrate the achievement that black people are now free to live where they want, work where they want and love who they want. South Africans hold him in high regard because he is a reminder of how far black people have come.

A Campaign

A campaign to have Nat Nakasa’s remains returned home began not long after the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

“This is a proud moment for South African journalism. And the nation as a whole that we have been able to give Nat his last wish. So returning to the land of his birth and to rest eternally with his ancestors.” The South African National Editors Forum said in a statement.

 

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