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My Fellow South Africans: James Matthews

Revered South African poet James Matthews, photographed by Ian Landsberg (African News Agency/ANA)

Revered South African poet James Matthews, photographed by Ian Landsberg (African News Agency/ANA)

Published May 25, 2022

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Age is a beautiful phase

I am at peace with my journey

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age is not an omen of fear

terrifying in its presence

age is a sanctuary that will

transform itself into an oasis

age is a beautiful phase.

- James Matthews, 93

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There are many terms to describe James Matthews. Freedom fighter. Publisher. Writer. Poet. Journalist.

A man who fought oppression and injustice with his words and more. Matthews, born in Cape Town’s colourful Bo-Kaap, turned 93 this week.

On Africa Day, May 25, 2019, he was honoured on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

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Matthews remains among one of the most prominent and influential voices to come out of Cape Town.

Here he is photographed in his Athlone home by Ian Landsberg.

* My Fellow South Africans is an editorial campaign powered by IOL which aims to build a more inclusive society by introducing South Africans to one another.

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