For Comrade Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba. 

(1930 – 2017)

A giant has passed.

This cannot be a tribute, for no words will ever do justice to you, comrade and husband, father and brother, the truest son of the soil.

You spent 18 years on that rock of infamy, together with your comrades, your sacrifice cannot be put into words.

Your complete dedication to the cause of freedom and of human emancipation is an eternal example of your commitment to the battle, to the struggle, to the fight you fought with all of your being, with your unyielding principles and values, against the abhorrent and criminal system of Apartheid.

You made a conscious decision when you were a young man to take up arms against the brutality of racial segregation and injustice.

You nurtured the principles of internationalism and justice for all people, an example for us who remain, to never bend and to never bow, to never be cowed by power and injustice.

Your life and the example of your life is testament to the heights that human beings can attain, by standing tall in the face of callous savagery by a foe that wielded its power to dehumanise a people.

You and your fellow comrades-in-arms ignited the flames of resistance, your bravery, your courage, your indomitable will a living example of how the edifice of tyranny can be razed to the ground.

Your sacrifice, as a husband, as a father, as a brother, as a grandfather cannot be overstated.

It is often said that people give their all, and your life exemplifies this more than words could ever convey, for you were truly selfless in the very essence of the word.

Your selflessness, your comradely spirit that flowed through your veins, your love for humanity, your vast intellect, your entire life cannot be celebrated in a few words.

Your life, your example, transcends all words.

Now that you have passed on, the truest celebration of your life can only be achieved by picking up the standard, by seizing your baton to continue to work for all that you have taught us, and to honour and imbibe the raging fire that your remarkable life taught us, and shall always continue to teach us.

This cannot be a tribute, for no words will ever do justice to you, Comrade Isu, but the flame that burned so bright within you, the flame of justice for all, for a united people devoid of tribal, religious, sectarian and class divisions must be and shall be a shining reminder of what we as a people, united in a common cause, can achieve.

You may have passed, but the powerful example of your life lives on, and must live on, if we are to truly honour you and the sacrifices that you and your fellow comrades made, by giving your all in the service of humanity.

A giant has passed, yes, but the giant shall remain hewn in our collective consciousness.

Your flame shall never diminish, Comrade Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba.

You may have passed, yet you shall continue to live within us all.

May your soul rest in peace.

Hamba Kahle, Qhawe lamaqhawe!

Long live the spirit of Comrade Isu Chiba!

The Struggle Continues!