Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hector Peterson Memorial

The Hector Peterson Memorial is situated in the heart of Soweto. Soweto is South Africa's biggest township and is part of the city of Johannesburg.

Hector Peterson became the iconic image of the 1976 Soweto uprising in apartheid South Africa when a news photograph by Sam Nzima of the dying Hector being carried by a fellow student, was published around the world. The young man carrying Hector went to ground immediately after the photo was published, fled to Mozambique and was never seen again.

Hector was killed at the age of 12 when the police opened fire on protesting students. For years, June 16 stood as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. Today, it is known as National Youth Day — a day on which South Africans honour young people and bring attention to their needs.

This picture was taken through one of the windows in the Hector Peterson Museum which is situated next to the Memorial.


  1. I remember that incident. I cannot even imagine shooting a 12 year-old child. Your country has had a lot of growing pains, hasn't it? I certainly hope it is getting better.

    That's a beautiful memorial...!

  2. I said, I remembered this photo as well, so sad but a reality of that time in our country..thanks for giggle from me tonight, this is a serious post...;)

  3. That famous photograph is infinitely sad and a horrible reminder of that difficult time in the history of our country.

  4. One of the photographs I often look at. It is in my favourite book "the best of life". Never knew it was part of a memorial. There you go teaching me something new about my country yet again.

  5. A sad time history, for so many.

  6. It was a sad time for sure! I live in Johannesburg and have never been to that memorial site.