Antoinette Sithole – Historian Speaker

Antoinette Sithole-Historian Speaker
Antoinette Sithole-Historian Speaker

Antoinette Sithole – Historian Speaker is one of the three people in Sam Nzima’s famous picture of the uprising.

At the age of 53, she is the only one whose voice has remained with us. Antoinette is now available through Speakers Inc.

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time” says Antoinette about her brother, Hector Pieterson.

This photograph became the most striking symbol of the uprising and it portrays the brutal state’s response.

It thrust Antoinette Sithole-Historian Speaker into the spotlight – it was ‘like a bombshell that came out of the blue’.

That moment changed her life – ‘ I can’t run away from that…for me, it’s a big change’. Connect with Antoinette on LinkedIn.

Antoinette Sithole – Historian Speaker

The eldest of six children, Antoinette grew up in a religious family, living with her strict grandmother. Her father changed their Tswana family name from ‘Pitso’ to ‘Pieterson’ with the intention of sounding more ‘coloured’. This enabled him to benefit from apartheid law by earning a better salary than most other ‘blacks’.

Antoinette Sithole – Historian Speaker joined the riots because she felt strongly against having to learn Afrikaans in school.

She stopped school after the riots in 1976 and returned in 1979.  She kept herself busy during those years by doing dramas about domestic life in Soweto, which were a way of proving her independence to her strict grandmother.

She dreamt of becoming a pharmacist but Antoinette left school in 1980 to get married and to take care of her sick mother-in-law.

She only wrote 3 Matric subjects and she dreams of finishing Grade 12 one day.

Antoinette Sithole – Historian Speaker

She is now married to her second husband, Meshack. She is currently learning how to speak Meshack’s home language – Zulu.  The couple lead a quiet life. Antoinette Sithole – Historian & Speaker believes that she is not a celebrity, but that her life is very normal.

Antoinette’s eldest child from her previous marriage was named after Hector.

She is currently working at the Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum in Soweto.

Her unwanted fame has taken her overseas on several occasions:

· once to Germany in 1989 to visit a school named after Pieterson.
· to the Netherlands in 1999.
· she has also visited Sweden three times.

Antoinette Sithole – Historian & Speaker hopes to be able to let her brother’s death go and to let him rest in peace – “The only thing that consoles me is that I was there when he died. I was lucky I got to say goodbye”.