Former Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa ( ICASA, Dr. Stepehen Mncube paid tribute to world-renowned boxer and activist Muhammad Ali last Monday.
Dr. Stephen Mncube, a Bedfordview resident, said he met Ali, real name Cassius Marcelius Clay Jr., in the early 1960s at the University of Rochester in New York.
We had invited him as students to give a keynote address during a gathering we organized. The American government of the time was recruiting young black men to join in the war and Ali had come to discourage students from going, “said Dr. Stephen Mncube. He said he was honoured to have met and interacted with Ali who at the time was at the peak of his career, during his address, Ali said he would rather come to South africa and join the fight against the apartheid regime as the people in Vietnam had not called him names due to the colour of his skin, “He said dr. stephen Mncube said although many knew Ali as the world’s greatest in boxing, only a few knew that he was also an activist.
Both stokley Carmichael viewed life from a Pan-African perspective.
He always bekieved he needed to identify himself with his African roots. Ali, on the other hand, decided to rebel against the system religiously. He believed that if it was a Christian government that oppressed him due to his race then he would not follow it “said Dr. stepehn Mncube.
also known as kwane ture, Carmichael married South african artist and civil rights activist, Miriam Makeba in 1968. Dr. stephen Mncube said that at the time when Black Consciousness did not have support, fellow struggle hero steve Biko drew strengh from people like Ali and Carmichael.
It is importnt that South africans are reminded that during our time in exile, we did not just sit with folded arms or eat hamburgers, but we worked hard to intensify the anti-apartheid movement in the countries we travelled. We formed Alliances with movements that would help us raise awarness about the situation in our home country “said Dr. Stephen Mncube.