Ubuntsundu Project: A Melanated Rising

Ubuntsundu (Xhosa/Zulu):being black

In the late 1960’s, a notable vacuum of oppressed groups representing themselves in public spaces led to a South African medical student creating the Black Consciousness Movement. This medical student was Steve Bantu Biko.

The movement, which mirrored W.E.B Du Bois’s teachings that challenged Euro-centered ideals placed as an identity Africans should aspire to, became a tool for psychological liberation during the struggle for political freedom in South Africa. In taking an honest unapologetic approach towards the equality of man kind, the government at the time saw total censorship as Although oppressive forces insisted violent tools to murder the movement by any means necessary.

All these efforts proved to be futile as black renaissance showed its face in political parties across the continent, Music from socially conscious artists such as Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo and Fela Kuti. It moved into literature, courtesy of the minds of Sol T. Plaatjie and Chinua Achebe. It became media houses such as the Chimurenga Chronic and The Afrolutionist.

Today, there is still a constant need to unlearn complexes that the black African is taught in social structures to believe that their history, culture and tradition makes them n human which breathes life into the Ubuntsundu Project.

An inception from Lakai Saadiq, the project is a sequel of poems that bear experience of Africans in the past 400 years. It further narrates stories of black communities, sub cultures and our people through photographed story-telling that marry the messages through his poetry.


Follow the movement on our blog every Wednesday, and visit tumblr for his online work.


Lakai Saadiq is a writer, a storyteller, events curator, a blogger, a composer, a photographer, an instrumentalist, poet and a graphic designer based in Johannesburg. He has worked alongside Chris Durand (Reunion Island harpist) Unfamilia Systems, Chris Hani Crossing and Feya Faku. Having won Poetry on Point 2012 Vosloorus Slam Championship Competition and being awarded The Youngest Creative writer by R.B.F institute, Lakai performed in various platform. These include the Maun International Arts Festival 2015 in Botswana, the Johannesburg City Festival, the Jazz international week with Thuto Motsemme’s Quintet and Love and Light City Slickers last year.