Keorapetse Kgositsile

Literary Birthday – 19 September – Keorapetse Kgositsile


Keorapetse Kgositsile was born 19 September 1938 and died 3 January 2018.

Seven Quotes

  1. What you know is merely a point of departure. So let’s move.
  2. All things come to pass When they do, if they do All things come to their end When they do, as they do…
  3. University degrees, including doctoral ones, should never be allowed to be terminal, like an illness. It does not stop with being awarded a degree. It can never be a destination; it remains, permanently, a road to be travelled. And that pursuit for knowledge can never be for its own sake; it must be used as an instrument to equip us to be of better service to society; an instrument to enable us to be instrumental agents of our historic mission, which is to create a better future for the majority of our people.
  4. In a situation of oppression, there are no choices beyond didactic writing: either you are a tool of oppression or an instrument of liberation.
  5. But any Time is with us. And if we take control to shape our attitude and reshape our memories, that time is always now – our time for the best possible uses of our lives.
  6. Beware, my son, words that carry the loudnesses of blind desire also carry the slime of illusion dripping like pus from the slave’s battered back.
  7. Those things in life that matter will give you pain as you learn to understand life.

Keorapetse William Kgositsile, also known as ‘Bra Willie’, was a South African poet and political activist. He published his influential collection, My Name is Afrika in 1971, which established him as a leading African poet. Keorapetse Kgositsile was inaugurated as South Africa’s National Poet Laureate in 2006.

by Amanda Patterson