In 2015-2017 South Africa was gripped with university protests seeking free higher education.
Much has been written on the #FeesMustFall movement examining the situation, but in his book Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation Rekgotsofetse Chikane gives his first-hand account of the nature of student politics in the country before, during and after the emergence of #MustFall politics.
Chikane also looks at political dynamics that informed and drove the student protests and the effect that these #MustFall movements have had on the nature of youth politics in the country.
Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser, Chakane explains some of the themes included in his book and why he used the term 'coconut' in some of the chapters.
I get the derogatory aspect of it because I was called a coconut a good chunk of my life.— Rekgotsofetse Chikane, Author
I thought how do I use this term in a manner that is not derogatory in any way but highlights a particular group in society that has huge political capital and huge political influence.— Rekgotsofetse Chikane, Author
For me, a coconut is not someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside. It is someone who is black and is able to navigate certain spaces because they are allowed to navigate those spaces.— Rekgotsofetse Chikane, Author
Chikane says his book aims to influence other students to write their own stories about the movement.
There are five students in this country that I have targeted this book to. If they read it, they will realise immediately to essentially say you need to write yourself. There is single truth to #MustFall politics.— Rekgotsofetse Chikane, Author
Listen to the full interview below...