Bessie Head's eulogy

"From the confusions of her daily living, she would withdraw to her desk and typewriter and there she would almost take on a new personality. While she sat there, she seemed to have her life under control. Her fears, anxieties and physical needs were pushed to one side, as she collected her ideas and concentrated her thoughts on what she was writing. It was here that the disparities in her complex personality were quietened for a while. It was here the realist and the diviner achieved a brief common purpose."

                                                                    Patrick van Rensburg.

back to the Bessie Head memorial page

"I'm an individual. Nobody shall make me ashamed of who I am!"
Bessie Head


In this lesson plan, learners will get a small taste of the power of Bessie Head's writing. They will also be exposed to the great personal suffering she endured, partly as a result of the hurtful ideas about coloured people that were encouraged during apartheid. Head's letters tell us a great deal about the loneliness caused by prejudice.

Lesson plan
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Artwork photo gallery
More images of Bessie's memorial artwork erected at Werda Hoerskool in Hillary, Durban.
Archive photo gallery
'Life in pictures' - these images range from when she was a young journalist to when she was at Serowe, Botswana.