Author: Natalia Sifuba
The heroic action of Reverend Isaac Williams Dyobha Wauchope, legendary hero from the 1917 SS Mendi troopship would pave the path of political activism for many Wauchope generations. His descendant, Joyce Kalaote, was a political activist, a struggle heroine, and one of the towering BCM figures during the 1970s against the system of apartheid. A nurse by profession, she thrust herself into civic struggles, and as an active community member rallied brave women to close ranks in support and in defence of the 16 June 1976 students following the outbreak of nationwide uprisings. But she was not alone; the members of her entire family were political activists.
Her nephew, George Mpapa Wauchope, was described as a soldier of justice and, after having enrolled at the University of Fort Hare in 1970, joined the South African Students Organisation (SASO). Fort Hare sharpened his political interest, and this is where this remarkable figure emerged with an unwavering desire to take on the system on its illegitimate rule over the black majority. Being a prominent exponent of the philosophy of Black Consciousness, his extraordinary activism became the family’s catalyst, and the entire Wauchope family becomes involved in the struggle for national liberation.