Shepi Mati interviewed by David Bailey
June 18, 2007 Cape Town, South Africa.
"Whenever you mentioned their name at home, older people used to shiver ... and hush you quickly ..." [1:27]
Mati describes the repressive atmosphere of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when mentioning the names of people in banned organizations such as the African National Congress and Communist Party made older people afraid.
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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.