Refugees Who Have Made a Difference
Refugees or former refugees who have achieved special status within a community due to their achievements, or because they have overcome hardship to build a new life.
This gallery features profiles of some 200 refugees who have made a difference and left a mark in the world. The list includes people, dead and living, in all walks of life. Some, like writer Chinua Achebe, composer Bela Bartok, physicist Albert Einstein and actress-singer Marlene Dietrich are world famous, others have shared their gifts locally. The UN refugee agency salutes all of them for showing the potential of refugees around the world.
One of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century and the founder of structural anthropology, Claude Lévi-Strauss explains his unawareness of growing anti-Semitism in Vichy France as a "lack of imagination" on his part.
In September 1940, Lévi-Strauss returned from an expedition in Brazil (where he had taught as a sociologist at the University of Sao Paulo), and asked to be reappointed to his teaching post in Paris. He was told by the Ministry of Education that with the (Jewish-sounding) name he had, they would not send him to Paris. He was offered a job in the southern town of Montpellier, but three weeks later was dismissed under France's anti-Semitic laws.
Lévi-Strauss was invited to go to the United States by the New School for Social Research, a university in exile in New York, established in an effort to rescue scholars who had been dismissed from teaching and government positions by totalitarian regimes in Europe. He boarded the Capitaine Paul-Lemerle together with other exiles, including Anna Seghers, André Breton and Victor Serge. In New York, Lévi-Strauss mixed with surrealist painters and artists in exile. He also worked for the Office of War Information.
From 1941-42, he co-founded the Ecole Libre des Hautes Etudes of New York. It was there that he met exiled linguist Roman Jakobson, who would influence the direction of his theoretical thinking. Lévi-Strauss taught ethnology and history of religions and wrote "The Elementary Structures of Kinship". Later he would apply this same structural approach to his lifelong studies of American Indian myths.
Once the war was over, Lévi-Strauss worked as cultural counsellor of the French Embassy in Washington, before moving back to France in 1948. He acted as Vice-Director of the Musée de L'Homme. In 1950, he was appointed Director of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. Surprised that there was no anthropological journal to serve as a platform for French ethnological and social anthropological studies, Lévi-Strauss founded the review L'Homme in 1961.
In the early 1950s, questioning the notion of progress, which he believed implied the superiority of certain cultures over others, Lévi-Strauss preferred, when analysing societies, to use the terms "hot" and "cold" societies as a way of differentiating between them. He went on to study social and symbolic constructs in societies. Vexed by the name of the university chair he occupied, "Religion of Primitive Peoples", Lévi-Strauss changed it to "Religion of Peoples Without Writing". In 1959, he was elected to the Chair of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France.
Lévi-Strauss was asked by UNESCO to give two lectures on his reflections on racism (now published as "Race and History" and "Race and Culture"). He has concerned himself with the nature of races and identities, about human universals, family and kinship, linguistics and beliefs, myths and rites. His ideas have had a huge influence in all sorts of disciplines, for example, in the field of literary criticism.
Lindiwe Mabuza's versatility led her into many professions, yet her single driving ambition was to see the end of apartheid in South Africa. She worked as a professor, poet, short-story writer, radio journalist, editor, and political organiser for the African National Congress (ANC). After the fall of apartheid, she became South Africa's first black ambassador to Germany.
Mabuza grew up in the working-class coal-mining town of Newcastle, struggling against crushing poverty. Her father was a truck driver and her mother worked as a maid. Mabuza became the only one in her family of seven to finish high school. Intent on her attending college, her mother and grandmother encouraged her to take advantage of the scholarship she was offered.
Mabuza's grandmother had often told her stories about their Zulu heritage. When the time came, she enrolled in Roma University across the border in Lesotho instead of at a college in South Africa in order to increase her understanding of native African culture and literature.
When she arrived back home to Newcastle in 1961, the country's hard-line apartheid policy had toughened following the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. Non-white students were forced out of multi-racial universities and into exclusively black institutions with a strictly censored curriculum. Non-white educators resigned in droves. When Mabuza applied for a position at a college in Vryheid, she was denied the post. She moved to Swaziland, where she taught English and Zulu literature.
In 1964, Mabuza began graduate studies in English at Stanford University, California. She earned her second master's degree in American studies at University of Minnesota, where she remained to teach sociology. She became involved in a project for wayward adolescent students, gaining their attention through creative writing and poetry. This project inspired her to write. Combining her broad knowledge of international literature with her experience of Zulu culture, she wrote a collection of poems, "Letter to Letta".
When black South Africans were forcibly removed from segregated townships to "homelands" and Afrikaans was made one of the official languages in black schools, Mabuza became politically active. She joined the ANC in 1975 and became a journalist for ANC's Radio Freedom, based in Lusaka. Her concern with women's issues led to her involvement with Voice of the Women, the ANC's feminist journal, which encouraged women to write poetry.
"Poetry is part of the struggle," she says. "You use the armed struggle; you use political agitation methods.... It gets to the heart of the matter. It moves people." After editing the magazine, Mabuza was sent to open up ANC branches in Scandinavia. She returned to the United States in 1986 as the ANC's chief representative, organising anti-apartheid boycotts and rallies, putting pressure on major corporations to withdraw their investment and facilities from South Africa.
With the legalisation of the ANC and the release of its celebrated leader, Nelson Mandela, in 1990, apartheid was on its way out. In 1994, Mabuza became a member of South Africa's first multi-racial government but within a year, President Mandela offered her the job of ambassador to Germany, which she accepted.
Currently, Mabuza's focus is on encouraging international investment in South Africa and building trading ties and cultural exchange with Germany, since, in her own words, "Democracy without housing, without health and without food is meaningless".
Legendary singer Miriam Makeba gave powerful testimony to the iniquities of the apartheid regime and paid the price by having to leave South Africa. Living abroad, she became an icon of African culture, associated with the "Black is Beautiful" movement of the 1960s.
Makeba began her career in 1952 as a vocalist for the Manhattan Brothers. Her appearance in the 1950s documentary, "Come Back Africa", led to invitations for her to visit Europe and America. It was there that she came to the attention of singers such as Harry Belafonte and was catapulted to stardom. But the impact of the anti-apartheid documentary caused the South African government to revoke her citizenship.
Makeba's uncles were killed in the Sharpeville Massacre. Her mother died shortly afterwards but Makeba was not granted a visa to allow her to return to pay her respects. In 1963, she testified about apartheid before the United Nations. In 1967, her song "Pata Pata" became a worldwide hit and her recording career blossomed. Her records were produced by RCA, Reprise and many others. In 1968, after marrying her third husband, radical black activist Stokely Carmichael, her US concerts were suddenly cancelled and her recording contract broken.
Makeba decided to leave the US, this time relocating to the African country of Guinea, from where she continued a busy schedule of recording and touring. She continued in her fearless mission to denounce apartheid, this time serving as a Guinean delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.
The singer is also known for having inspired an enduring fashion in the 1960s when the slogan "Black is Beautiful" was launched: "I see other black women imitate my style, which is no style at all, but just letting our hair be itself," she once said. "They call it the Afro Look."
The ban on her records was lifted in South Africa in 1989 and she returned to her homeland in December 1990. Four years later, she started a charity project to raise funds to protect women in South Africa.
Makeba has received numerous awards for her commitment to the cause of justice, including the Los Angeles Certificate of Recognition in the field of music; the Certificate of Appreciation from the US District of Columbia for her contribution to the quality of life for the oppressed and disadvantaged; the 1986 Dag Hammarskjöld Peace Prize and the UNESCO Grand Prix du Conseil International de la Musique for her peace efforts. Her autobiography, "Makeba, My Story", was published in 1988. She died in Italy in November 2008.
Sculptor Agamemnon Makris left Greece after World War II and only returned 35 years later. Honoured abroad and awarded the highest prizes for his distinguished artistic career, it was only with the restoration of democracy in Athens that his work, destroyed during the dictatorship, was appreciated in his home country.
His family left the island of Patras and moved to Athens when Makris was six. As a student, he attended the School of Fine Arts. In the 1930s, he was part of a group of intellectuals connected with the periodical, New Innovators. He also founded the Chamber of Art Professionals and was one of the organisers of the Panhellenic Exhibition at the Archaeological Museum in 1941. During the German occupation, he played an active role in the resistance movement.
After the liberation of Greece, Makris was among 120 artists who were offered scholarships from the French Institute and he participated in several prestigious Paris exhibitions. But the Greek government pressured the French authorities to deport him back to Greece. In 1950, he and his wife Zizi were offered refugee status by Hungary, where they were helped by Hungarian refugee agencies and the local Greek community.
In Hungary, Makris worked on endless artistic missions, producing monumental works such as the Mauthausen memorial commemorating the victims of the Nazi concentration camp in Austria, the memorial in Budapest to the Hungarian volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War, and the monument to the liberation in Pécs Hungary. Within two years, he was accepted as a member of the Corps of Hungarian Artists.
Stripped of his Greek citizenship in 1964, Makris only regained it in 1975 when democracy was restored. In 1979, he held his first retrospective at the National Gallery in Athens. He began working on monuments such as those in memory of the fallen heroes of the Polytechnic, the equestrian statue of Pavlos Kountouriotis in Palaio Phaliro, and the statue of Archbishop Makarios at the Presidential Palace in Cyprus. He collaborated with his daughter Clio to cerate the memorial in Beloyannis Square in Amaliada. In 1992, the University of Thrace declared him honorary professor.
In his later years, Makris divided his time between Athens and Budapest, spending his summer working in a small cottage in the Anavysos region of Attica. He died in Athens on May 26, 1993.
Tatyana Mamonova has been described as the founder of Russian feminism. She was exiled from the Soviet Union in the pre-glasnost days for having published a samizdat journal, Almanac: Woman and Russia, which was critical of the situation of women in Russia. In exile, she continued to publish feminist texts, expanding from Russian authors to include the writings of women worldwide.
Mamonova recalls that her first feminist views developed through her family, where patriarchal rules prevailed. She studied pharmacy but left her studies to work as a television screenwriter and commentator. She also became literary consultant for the poetry section in a youth review, Aurora. She translated foreign poetry, but became disillusioned when her poems were not published on the grounds that they did not conform to Soviet realism.
In the 1960s and 70s, she was part of the non-conformist artistic movement, painting and organising exhibitions abroad. As early as 1968, she had begun a small women's movement, and soon had to undergo her first interrogation by the police.
The idea of a journal for women came to Mamonova after she spent 10 days in a maternity clinic to give birth to her first child. The Soviet medical conditions were so appalling that she decided to create a forum where Soviet women could speak out about their problems. The Almanac addressed taboo issues such as abortion, prisons, working conditions, homosexuality and alcoholism.
The journal was soon hounded out of existence. In 1979, she was interrogated twice by the Leningrad KGB and given a warning that she would be arrested if she produced a second edition. In the early morning of July 19, 1980, Mamonova, her husband and child were taken to the airport. She was stripped of her citizenship, and they were put on a plane to Austria. After living for four years in France, where she was granted refugee status, she was invited in 1984 to Harvard University and subsequently served as a postdoctoral fellow there and at Radcliffe College's Bunting Institute.
The launching of a feminist press has been Mamonova's chief preoccupation even in exile. In addition to continuing to edit and publish Almanac: Woman and Russia, she has also set up Woman and Earth, which documents the history of feminism.
She continues to publish and lecture on feminist issues around the globe. In 1980, she was honoured as Woman of the Year by F Magazine in France and in 1998, she received the US World Heroine Prize for her contributions as a founder of the modern Russian women's movement and an international women's leader.
Though it was his classic novel "Buddenbrooks" (published when he was just 25) that made him rich and famous and his 1924 work "The Magic Mountain" which won him the Nobel Prize, Thomas Mann's other works include classics such as "Death in Venice" (1913) and "Doktor Faustus" (1947). But beside his literary credits, Mann stands out as one of the most vocal German critics of Nazism.
The writer was born in the Baltic port city of Lübeck, the second son of a local merchant and senator in the city government. Mann's mother was the daughter of a German planter who had migrated to Brazil and married a woman of Portuguese-Creole origin.
As a boy, Mann hated school but developed a love for music and writing. At 17, he edited his school's periodical, Frühlingssturm (Spring Storm), where he made his debut in prose and poetry published under the pseudonym of Paul Thomas.
He worked briefly as a clerk in an insurance company in Munich. The success of his first short story made him quit his job to take up writing full time.
Mann developed an interest in Schopenhauer and other German philosophers of his time. His reputation spread well beyond Germany, winning him awards across Europe. However, he soon became unpopular with Hitler's sympathisers, who called him a fraud.
While he was on a European tour in 1933 with his Jewish wife, the Nazis won the elections. Mann received a warning from his sister not to return to Germany. He spent the summer in southern France, and later settled in Küsnacht, Switzerland, until 1938.
While in exile, Mann issued a series of critical statements against the Nazis, and before the end of the year, his German citizenship was revoked. The University of Bonn also withdrew his honorary doctorate. He replied with a steaming and prophetic letter that was read throughout the world: "If the Nazis held sway," he warned, "the German people would become an 'instrument of war' ... driven by a blind and fanatical ignorance. Woe to the people which ... seeks its way out through the abomination of war, hatred of God and man! Such a people will be lost. It will be so vanquished that it will never rise again."
In 1937, Mann founded a literary magazine, Third Humanism, which was published in Munich.
He later settled in the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1944. While in California, between 1943 and 1946, he wrote his most sophisticated work: "Doktor Faustus, The Life of a German Composer as Told by a Friend". Based on a folk tale, it depicts Germany's sinister adventure into political insanity during the Nazi reign of terror.
During the era of McCarthyism, Mann became ill at ease with the pressures to conform and what he perceived as American suspicion of intellectuals. He returned to Switzerland in 1952 and was granted Swiss citizenship in 1953. From Switzerland, he visited his country several times, the last time being when he gave an address on the 150th anniversary of the German classicist, Schiller.
Mann died on August 12, 1955 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Pedro Alejandro Matta was a law student at the Santiago de Chile University and a member of Socialist Youth, a branch of the Socialist Party, when he was arrested and tortured in May 1975. He was imprisoned for over 13 months by the Pinochet regime, becoming one of 5,000 people who spent time in the torture centre known as Villa Grimaldi.
In July 1976, Matta was released from prison on the occasion of an Organization of American States meeting in Santiago. The military junta freed some 120 political prisoners in a gesture of goodwill. Three days later, he fled to the United States, where he had already had been recognised as a political prisoner, and there he was granted asylum. His departure from Chile was assisted by CIME (Comite Intergubernamental para las Migraciones Europeas).
Upon arriving in New York, Matta and his family were helped by the International Rescue Committee, which provided food, shelter and English lessons. Various agencies such as the Chilean Refugee Committee, New York Ethical Society, Democratic Chile, and Antifascist Chile were devoted to helping Chilean refugees and campaigning against the Pinochet dictatorship. During the July-August 1976 session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Matta testified about abuses and violations in Chile.
He began making a living working in a jewellery shop and eventually moved to San Francisco, where he worked in a factory until he was hired by a private detective firm. He was so successful at his job that he decided to set up his own detective agency.
At the end of the dictatorship, Matta returned to Chile after 15 years of exile. He put the skills he acquired as a detective to good use in the service of human rights. He is documenting the abuses of the torture centres, and has joined a small team that is working to preserve Villa Grimaldi as a memorial park. He is also writing a history of Villa Grimaldi based on a day-by-day reconstruction of what happened there during the dictatorship. He identified the names of many of those who were tortured there, and this meticulous work resulted in a list that can be read at the Memory Wall at one end of the park.
Matta is also involved in Chile's funas, a slang word meaning "uncovering", or "denouncing". A former torturer is chosen, located, and a peaceful demonstration is held to expose his or her past in front of neighbours or fellow workers.
Matta tours universities in the United States lecturing on human rights issues, contemporary Chilean history and the transition from dictatorship to democratic rule. He is also a consultant to non-governmental organisations and along with other prominent international human rights campaigners, was involved in organising the commemoration of the first Human Right Day.
Award-winning Chilean journalist Alejandra Matus won instant notoriety with her devastating exposé of corruption, "El libro negro de la justicia chilena" ("The Black Book of Chilean Justice"), which was banned in Chile. To avoid arrest, she fled to Miami, where she now lives in exile. After the US government granted her political asylum, she managed to defy her government's ban by making her book freely available on the Internet. She now works tirelessly to champion the cause of press freedom.
The eldest of three children, Matus' life changed irrevocably at the age of seven. That year, her parents separated and a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the government of Salvador Allende. At the age of 17, Matus attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Santiago.
Her journalistic career, which began with the opposition magazine Today during her college years, took her to Radio New World, for whom she covered Chile's ongoing transition to democracy. At the daily newspaper, La Época, she gained recognition for her investigation into the "Charly Case", the first case of espionage in the army under the democratically-elected government of Patricio Aylwin.
In 1994, Matus uncovered corruption in the Military Hospital of Santiago and made the front page of La Época. But after the article was published, the army charged the newspaper with sedition, giving the paper no choice but to retract her article. This was her first encounter with censorship. Four years later, her article was vindicated when the generals she had named were prosecuted for corruption. But she resigned from La Época and began writing for La Nación.
In partnership with journalist Francisco Artaza, she wrote an investigative report on the 1976 Washington car-bomb assassinations of Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American assistant Ronni Moffit. Matus and Artaza were awarded the Ortega and Gasset Prize for their work, which then led to the publication of "Crime with Punishment", Matus' first journalistic book.
Matus' steady rise to prominence in her field culminated in "The Black Book of Chilean Justice". While working at La Nación and the daily La Tercera, she accumulated startling evidence of rampant corruption in the judiciary. She drew up a "history" of corruption in the legal arm of the government. "There has never been a truly independent judiciary in Chile, just a 'service' with no independence," she says. "This service's deference to the authorities of the military government's regime tragically resulted in its failure to protect the lives of hundreds of people."
The six-year research project exposed a number of judges, disclosing corruption, miscarriage of justice and unsavoury behaviour, dating from the military regime to the current government. One of them, Judge Servando Jordán, brought legal action against her and her book.
In April 1999, Matus returned from Miami, where she was a journalist in residence for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, to attend the official launch of her book in Chile. The day after the book reached the stores, the police started confiscating all copies from bookstores throughout the country.
Justice Jordán invoked an archaic but still valid national security law authorising him to ban the book, seize all copies and bring criminal action against Matus and her publisher.
Matus' brother, a lawyer, telephoned her to warn her of the arrest warrant and urge her to leave Chile, or face up to five years in prison. Matus boarded a plane to Buenos Aires with her fiancé and in spite of massive protests at home and abroad, she was forced to return to Miami. There, she was declared to be in contempt of court in Chile, and liable to immediate imprisonment if she returned. The United Statess granted Matus political asylum on October 2, 1999, making her the first Chilean to obtain asylum in the US since the end of the Pinochet regime.
Human Rights Watch has honoured Matus with its Hellman-Hammet Award for persecuted writers.
In 1974, Predrag Matvejevic wrote an open letter asking Yugoslavia's President Tito to step down. He then wrote a series of papers known as "Letters from the Other Europe", defending dissidents forced to live in silence and exile. With the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia, he felt compelled to leave in protest in 1991.
Matvejevic was born to a Croatian mother and a White Russian father who had migrated from Odessa in the early 1920s. Born in the ethnically mixed town of Mostar, he studied philology and humanities at Zagreb and Sarajevo universities and went on to specialise in Comparative Literature at the University of Paris.
In 1968, Matvejevic, Professor of French at the University of Zagreb, was prohibited from speaking at a student demonstration and publication of his speech was banned. In the late 1960s, he was a part of an intellectual circle known as the School of Korcula, named after the Adriatic island where this culturally mixed group met in the summer.
Here, debates were held with such luminaries as historian Ernst Bloch, Henry Lefebvre, Herbert Marcuse, Eric Fromm, Jürgen Habermas, and adherents of the Frankfurt School such as Theodor Adorno, Karel Kosík and Leszek Kolakowski. Calling for "Socialism with a human face", the school and its journal, Praxis, were banned in Yugoslavia after 1974.
He found refuge in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. His letter calling for Tito's resignation was only one of dozens of open letters Matvejevic wrote from the 1970s on. He championed the cause of many dissidents, including Andrei Sakharov, Joseph Brodsky, Milan Kundera, the Group Charter 77, Danilo Kis, Czeslaw Milosz and Václav Havel. Published in 1985 in Belgrade as a samizdat, "Letters from the Other Europe" was banned in the Croatian capital, Zagreb. Matvejevic was expelled from the Communist League.
Today Matvejevic is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Paris and Slavonic Literature at the "La Sapienza" University of Rome. He acquired Italian citizenship, given to him on "cultural merits". In 1988, he published "The Mediterranean, A Cultural Landscape", an inquiry into the diverse nature of the Mediterranean region.
Matvejevic has never stopped in his relentless inquiry into the psychology of nationalism and its role in the tragedy that beset former Yugoslavia, made up of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia. Nationalism, by constituting a new identity, denies that multiple belonging is possible: "There is just one truth, a Serb, a Bulgarian, a Greek, a Croat, an Albanian, a Muslim, a Catholic, an Orthodox and the many other "particular truths" that pretend to stand up for themselves alone. In this way truth was relativised in the Balkans and outside the Balkans," writes Matvejevic.
Just one year prior to the outbreak of the war in Yugoslavia, Matvejevic wrote an open letter to Slobodan Milosevic asking him resign, claiming that his only other option left would be suicide. Today, Matvejevic reflects bitterly that now "even suicide would no longer suffice".
Always in search of identity, Matvejevic says, "Wherever I go in Yugoslavia I feel at home. At the same time I don't think I usurp the identity of its different constituent peoples in any way. You might call this, wrongly, "unitarist Yugoslavism" or talk of "Yugonostalgia", but it's for the peace and wellbeing of these peoples. I am without prejudice."
He currently serves as President of the International Committee for the Mediterranean Centre, Vice-President of International Pen, and co-founder of the Sarajevo Association based in Paris and Rome.
In 2000, Matvejevic returned to Belgrade after 10 years of absence. In "On the Danube", he recounts meeting former friends who have been absorbed by a culture that does not distinguish between myth and history. Just before leaving Serbia, he made sure to post another open letter, this time calling for the liberation of Kosovar paediatrician Flora Brovina, who had been detained without trial.
Veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Thabo Mbeki spent years abroad working for the African National Congress (ANC) before presiding over South Africa's transition to majority rule and following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela to become President of South Africa.
Both of Mbeki's parents were teachers and activists. His father was a prominent member of the ANC leadership and was imprisoned on Robben Island along with Mandela in 1964.
Mbeki joined the ANC Youth League in 1956 while still a student. When the school he attended at Lovedale closed down as a result of a school strike, Mbeki, determined to complete his schooling, continued his studies at home. He followed a correspondence course in economics with London University. (Some years later, while in exile, he received a Masters in Economics from Sussex University.) He moved to Johannesburg, where he came into contact with leading ANC figures such as Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe. After the banning of ANC, Mbeki continued to work underground in Pretoria and Witwatersrand.
Mbeki left the country in 1962 on the orders of ANC. A child of the liberation struggle, he remained active in student politics. He played an important role in building youth and student sections of ANC in exile. In 1970, he was sent to the Soviet Union for military training and was appointed that same year as Assistant Secretary of the ANC Revolutionary Council. He co-ordinated the movement's propaganda in London (1967-70) and helped build up the underground movement in Lusaka (1971), Botswana (1973-74) and Swaziland (1975).
Mbeki became Political Secretary in the Office of the then President of ANC, Oliver Tambo, in Lusaka in 1978. From 1984-89, he was Director of the Department of Information and Publicity. In 1989, Mbeki became head of ANC's International Affairs Department, where he began developing the strategy that would result in the first cross-border contacts with South Africans who were anxious to end apartheid.
Returning to South Africa in 1990, he was elected as the first Deputy President of the New Government of National Unity in preparation for South Africa's first multiracial elections in 1994. In 1997, he was elected as the new President of ANC and was inaugurated as President of South Africa in June 1999.
Mbeki is known to have coined the African Renaissance culture, which embraces both modernisation and African heritage. For him, to be an African is to be, among others, Khoi, San, European, Malayan, Indian, Chinese: "We refuse to accept that our Africaness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender or historical origins. It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white."