Sbu Zikode, president of the Abahlali base Mjondolo – the shack dwellers movement – has garnered international recognition for his efforts on behalf of Durban's poorest and most marginalised, being awarded the Per Anger Prize for 2021, the Swedish Government’s international prize for human rights and democracy.
Zikode has been a constant thorn in the side of eThekwini Municipality and has over the years led thousands of people on marches through the city centre calling for decent housing, notes a report on the IOL site.
The constant pressure he has put on the city, often shining the light on ineptitude or corruption, has seen his members being killed, their shacks torn down and meant that he has had to go into hiding several times amid threats of assassinations.
The prize from the Swedish Government will be awarded by The Living History Forum on 21 April. Zikode, who plans to receive the award at the Swedish embassy in Pretoria – due to Covid-19 travel restrictions – said he was humbled by the award.
A shack dweller himself 15 years ago, Zikode has grown the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement to about 82 000 members. ‘Our people still live in very bad conditions. This award is for them, to continue with the struggle and for all those who sacrificed their lives because of the struggle,’ he said.