The remarkable life of Stephanie Kemp: ‘I was not given to fear’


The remarkable life of Stephanie Kemp: ‘I was not given to fear’

Stephanie Kemp was a warrior against apartheid. From her rural upbringing in a loving Afrikaner home to 24 years in exile after imprisonment and torture, her life is a soaring moral testament to standing up for what is right and good and just. ANNELIESE BURGESS tells more about the extraordinary life of an unassuming Afrikaner revolutionary.

IN her beautiful and searingly reflective memoir, Through an Unforgettable Storm: The Forging of a Loyal Cadre, Stephanie Kemp tells of how her early childhood discomfort with the everyday injustices she witnesses while growing up in Calvinist platteland South Africa of the 1940s and 50s leads to a deepening political awareness when she goes to the University of Cape Town (UCT) to study. 

“I arrived at UCT bubbling with excited anticipation. Almost immediately, everything was thrown into turmoil as the world around me erupted and changed South Africa irrevocably. Within just a few weeks, South Africa was on fire. On 21st March 1960, the Sharpeville massacre shocked the world and shook the regime.*

“Within days of the Sharpeville massacre, on 30th March 1960, I stood on the pavement at Caledon Square, the police headquarters in Cape Town. I watched as 30,000 remarkably peaceful PAC protesters arrived on foot from Langa and Nyanga with 26-year-old Philip Kgosana at the front. It was a massive display of black power in response to the massacre by the white minority regime at Sharpeville 1,500 km to the north.”..

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