The life of the man who took the iconic picture of Hector Pietersen during the 1976 Soweto uprising, Sam Nzima, was remembered at his home village Lillydale, in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. Nzima died in Rob Ferreira hospital two weeks ago, after he collapsed at his home.

Hundreds of people gathered at his home where the memorial service was held. Nzima was praised for his contributions to the liberation of this country.

Nzima’s memorial service was characterised by song and dance. Different speakers did not only speak about the life of Nzima but also recited poems and praises in honour of Nzima.

Nzima’s children and grandchildren described him as a person who was always disciplined and loved education.

His daughter Bongi Nzima says they will always carry the values they have been taught by their father.   “Daddy encouraged us to take education as a hobby. He wanted us to be educated and he made us watch news and be informed.”

While Sam Nzima’s son, Thulani Nzima read out a message sent by Hector Peterson’s sister– Antoinette Sithole– who is also in the iconic picture taken in June 1976.  In the message, Sithole highlighted how Nzima changed her life when he took the photo. She is a celebrity today and it was Nzima who changed her life.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says government will ensure that the legacy of Nzima is kept alive.

Nzima will be laid to rest on Saturday in Lillydale