“In this memoir, Seroke emulates his hero, the late Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, who used to bend to grab a handful of the barren soil of Robben Island Prison, where he was locked up, and then straightened up to let it trickle through his fingers. He did that because he was forbidden from talking or even waiving to his fellow prisoners as they marched past his “house”, designed for solitary confinements for him. They would be on their way to and from hard labour in the quarry where they were digging out material to extend the prison around themselves.
The other prisoners were also forbidden from talking or waiving to him, so they in turn bent down to grab sand and let it trickle through their fingers. Sobukwe was reminding them that they were on this bleak island because they were committed to liberating their land, iZwelethu!” – Joe Thloloe