Sisonke Msimang at Lapham’s Quarterly:
Like all children in our exile community whose parents were members of the African National Congress, I attended Young Pioneers meetings every weekend. The meetings were like Sunday school sessions. Politics was our religion, and we worshipped at the altar of Marx. We rehearsed political slogans the way other children learned hymns, and we prayed to the socialist gods that the apartheid regime would come crashing down. The sessions were fun. They were run by Auntie Ruth, a Russian woman married to a South African man. She taught us Marxist theory and let us pretend that we were world-class gymnasts. Occasionally, Auntie Ruth would let someone else manage the Sunday sessions. By the time I was seven, a lot of our teachers were “young lions,” or the “children of ’76,” as they were often called.