Sometimes I look at the world and feel like I am drowning in the mass of things that are not yet right in it. I see children on the streets with brains like cheese from sniffing glue, I read about 12 year olds in Pollsmoor with Parkinson’s disease from too many years of tik addiction. I hear stories about little girls who make the life or death decision of whether to go to the toilet or not and possibly risk rape, abduction or death. These are our children, they belong to us, these are our futures.
I feel pregnant with the weight of the world at times, I birth buckets of tears and rivers of helplessness. Some days I write about it, other days, I am paralysed with anger and cry, but today, this year, this time, I have decided to study.
I will educate myself so that one day I can speak to an oppressor ( be it Government, the West , patriarchy, sexism, racism for example) and know that they will listen.
I am studying Applied Psychology. I study part-time, from 6:15pm – 9:15pm, Monday – Wednesday. I study part time so that I have time to work in order to pay for my, + – R 3 800 per month, classes. It is the scariest thing that I have ever committed to doing completely on my own.
I am frowning more, and sleeping harder. I am having less sex and eating faster, but I am living and education is pumping its way into my body, brain, cells and becoming a part of my future DNA. I am changing, bettering every inch of my existence. I am expanding. I am wearing this lesson, this time, these changes like an African wears their particular shade of melanin, with new-found pride.
My education at the moment is selfish, it solely for me. It is expensive and I work only to be able to pay for it, for me. But one day, in the not so far away future, I will graduate, I will celebrate new-found freedom from a hight that our government has forbidden many to reach.
I will be there with this skin, and this magic between my legs, I will be there with this hair and these brown eyes, I will be there with this mind and all of the text books that foreign white men demanded were right, and I will breath out freedom.
Even if only for the one young girl who passes me one day and sees strength in a shade that has forever been thrown away.
Even if only for a young boy who never saw a woman speak out to a man and claim the space around her body.
Even if only for a world who believes I am nothing more than a beautiful half-naked picture, an african song, a sunset and swaying, teardrop shaped breasts.
If only to change the picture, set askew the, often concrete, ideas.By educating myself further, I will have done something, started a storm.
So now I try delay that cry, swallow the swelling unpleasant pleasantries and trust that one day, when I have mastered the masters tools I will be able to use them to set us free. Slowly, one child at a time, one women in a thousand, one man in a million. This is all that I expect from myself, this is all that I hope for. To equip myself with the tools that are available to me in order to create new, more useful, more relevant, more fitting ones.
The only way out is education. The only tools I can give myself is to study. And so I do. Hard, and fiercely.
I study to make a ripple in the ocean and hope that someday it will be seen as part of the wave that changed South Africa.This place was not designed for us. It is the responsibility of those who are able, educated and empowered, to create the equality that those who came before us hoped to leave behind. The world expects nothing from me, so I’ll go by noiselessly and when I am ready, ill explode into success, noisily,brilliantly, and with abundance.