Jacob Koti Dikobo is the President of the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO).
Azania is the Africanist version name for (South Africa).
The Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) is a South African political organisation and liberation movement. The organisation’s two student wings are the Azanian Students’ Movement (AZASM) for high school learners and the other being for tertiary students called the Azanian Students’ Convention (AZASCO), its women’s wing is Imbeleko Women’s Organisation, simply known as IMBELEKO. Its inspiration is drawn from the Black Consciousness Movement philosophies developed by Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro, Vuyelwa Mashalaba among others.
From 1978, BCM political activists from these various BCM organisations in the country were released from detention, notably Lybon Mabasa and Ishmael Mkhabela. They were joined by Itumeleng Mosala, Nchaupe Mokoape, Mosibudi Mangena, Saths Cooper, Strini Moodley, Muntu Myeza and Pandelani Nefolovhodwe. They began working towards the formation of a new political organisation, the Azanian People’s Organisation(AZAPO). Subsequent to their efforts, AZAPO was formed on 28 April, 1978 in Roodepoort, near Johannesburg where it held its inaugural conference.
Dikobo was part of the generation that engaged with the teachings of Onkgopotse Ramothibi Tiro, a Black Consciousness Movement stalwart.
Dikobo was born on the 22nd February 1962 in the village of Bataung (Makgophong) in Zebediela, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
He attended Khureng Primary School and Bataung (Ramasodi) Primary School. He completed Standard 8 at Tubake Secondary School, and went on to do Matric (Standard 10) at Setotolwane College of Education.
During his days at Tubake, he was part of the Student Leadership serving in the Student Representative Council, after the Students “hijacked” the prefect system and turned it into a vehicle to advance the cause of students.
Dikobo also excelled in debate, representing both Tubake and Setotolwane schools. He holds a Bachelor of Education in Pedagogy (B.A. (Paed)) and Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degrees from the University of the North.
He has worked at the following institutions Ramohlokolo High School as a Teacher; Bokamoso Senior Secondary School as a Teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Principal and Principal, Florapark Comprehensive High School as Principal.
Jacob Dikobo became active in the activities of the Youth League of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA), serving in various Leadership positions, among others, Chairperson of the Lutheran Students Christian Fellowship in Turfloop; Youth Director for ELCSA Northern Diocese, Youth Chairperson for ELCSA.
In those capacities he attended the following, among others Through the Exchange Programme with the Church of Swedish Mission, a programme at the Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem, Israel; The Global Mission Event of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Washington DC, USA; The Multi Cultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) of ELCA in Atlanta, Georgia, ELCA National Youth Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where he gave a Lecture on the situation in South Africa; travelled around the North Eastern Ohio Synod talking to various groups on South Africa.
He also served as Chairperson for the Youth of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA), which is an Organisation of Lutheran Churches from Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
He was also active in the Ecumenical Movement circles, having served in the following positions Secretary and later, Chairman of the Students Inter-Denominational Organization (SIDO) at the University of the North; Chairman of the Youth of the Northern Transvaal Council of Churches (NTCC); and Secretary for the Youth Committee of the South African Council of Churches (SACC).
In those capacities he was part of the SACC Youth Delegation to World Council of Churches’ Programme to Combat Racism which was held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and also to the Youth Conference of the All Africa Christian Conference which was held in Ndola, Zambia.
An active Unionist, he served the Professional Educators Union (PEU) as Vice Chairman of the Pietersburg Central District, and as Vice Chairman of the Limpopo Province.
He was elected President of PEU in 2002, re-elected in 2004 and in 2007.
Dikobo also served in the following positions Vice President of the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA); Deputy President of NAPTOSA; Member of the Central Committee of the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), Vice President of the Confederation of South African Workers Union (CONSAWU); Member of the National Board for Further Education and Training (NBFET); Member of the NEDLAC Development Chamber; Member of the Board of the ETDP-SETA, and as Broad Labour Representative in the Executive Committee, Human Resources Committee and Finance Committee; Chairman of the College Council of the Capricorn College for Further Education and Training; Secretary of the College Council of Kwena Moloto College.
He was elected President of the Association of Non-Aligned Teacher Unions in Southern Africa (ANTUSA) at its founding Meeting in Kabwe, Zambia; a position he relinquished when he was elected to the position of AZAPO President.
Dikobo grew up in the Black Consciousness Movement, and started serving in Leadership structures during his Student days at the University of the North. He served as Secretary, and later as Chairman of the Turfloop Branch of the Azanian Students Movement (AZASM).
He also served in the following positions Secretary of the Seshego Branch of AZAPO; Secretary of the Seshego Education Watchdog Committee (SEWACO); Secretary of the Northern Transvaal Region of AZAPO; Secretary for Education for the Northern Transvaal Region of AZAPO; Vice Chairman of AZAPO Northern Transvaal Region; AZAPO National Secretary for Education; and Member of the AZAPO Central Committee.
He became involved in the underground activities of AZAPO and the BCMA, joining the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA). He was part of the AZAPO Delegation to a meeting with the then exiled Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA) and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.
He was elected President of AZAPO at the 20th Congress in March 2010.
He is married to Mildred, and they have two daughters and a son.
Photo Credit: http://azapo.org.za/