[Podcast] ‘You hear this thing that the boers killed your uncle … you do not really understand’ – Gaongalelwe Tiro talks about his new book Parcel of Death
More about the book!
Gaongalelwe Tiro recently spoke to David O’Sullivan on Kaya FM about his new book, which tells his uncle’s life story – Parcel of Death: The Biography of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro.
The veteran journalist was born eight days after his uncle, a man hailed by many as the ‘godfather’ of the June 1976 uprisings, died and never had the chance to meet him.
‘I got to know about his story from a very early age and it always fascinated me,’ Tiro says. ‘But, you know, it wasn’t very easy then to talk about politics and politicians.
‘When we were growing up, just the mere mention of Mandela would get you rebuked by elderly people in the community: you’re going to end up in jail, some would say.
‘It is indeed a story they would talk about though maybe not in any great detail. But it is one incident that impacted on the evolution of my political consciousness, because you hear this thing that the boers killed your uncle, and you know you’re young, you do not really understand the political conditions in the country but then you start wondering, why did they kill him with a bomb, nogal? It piques your curiosity.’
‘It fascinated me because he was such a threat to the apartheid state that they had to blow him up,’ O’Sullivan adds. ‘He was in exile in Botswana at the time and he received a parcel bomb which killed him immediately on opening.’
In the interview, Tiro speaks about his uncle’s childhood and his formative influences, his politics, his career as a teacher, mentor and activist and his untimely death.
Listen to the riveting podcast: