Shepi Mati interviewed by David Bailey
June 18, 2007 Cape Town, South Africa.
"That was one of the early incidents of my own consciousness that there were people who were classified 'other'." [2:28]
Shepi Mati describes how he became aware - at the age or 8 or 10 when the Group Areas Act was implemented in his small community - that Africans and Coloureds were classified as different races.
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Shepi Mati was born in 1961 and went to work at the age of 12 or 13 as a so-called “garden boy”. He attended high school in Port Elizabeth at the time of the student uprisings in 1976. In the early 1980s, he was recruited into the ANC underground and also became involved with the Young Christian Workers, which was strongly influenced by liberation theology. He helped to build the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and was national president of the organization in 1982. Mati worked with Community Video Education Trust (CVET) in Cape Town in the last 1980s to document the struggle on video. He now is radio manager at Idasa.