the university that i used to go to was actually trash

Why? (25 marks) 

It hid all of the problems that it had under a veil of liberalism. It also hid all of the problems that it had under the drinking and popular partying culture. And they shape you into a liberal, toting party boy/girl the minute you step foot into the campus.

The indoctrination actually starts as soon you get your acceptance letter. You are congratulated and welcomed like you have been accepted into one of the most prestigious institutions in this country. There is a huge fuss that is made when you get in, and it is one that is perpetuated by everyone. Your parents start telling everyone that you got into said school and everybody reacts the same way. Your distant aunt will call you for the first time in 8 months already going “Oh, mntanam, ugenile? I always knew you were destined for greater things”. And the other half of the people that you tell about your acceptance don’t even know which province this school is in and that boosts your ego. The exclusivity boosts your ego.

So it’s no doubt that by the time they welcome you, you have already heard people say “it’s a privilege for you to get the chance to study here”. And because you believe that with all your might, you get wrapped up by the school’s culture. The institutional culture becomes a part of your identity. You change all your social media profiles to say University of phiphiphi student. You start posting about your first weekend out at the popular, local pubs. You make posts about how drunk and nice everyone is. That first friend that you make from your res becomes your day one. Things start looking up.

This let’s up. I don’t know for how long but you attend every event. You do everything with so much excitement. You try and fulfill the dream that the prospectus sells you. You want to be liberal and that means accepting everybody. You think to yourself “this is finally the chance to make an Asian, white and gay friend”. And you might fulfill this wish of yours, and post pictures outside the school library for all the people on your Instagram feed. And when they scroll through your profile, they think to themselves: “Wow, she really goes to a progressive school”. And for a while, that is what you believe too. Because that is what you have been taught. You are made to feel like you are in an all-inclusive school. A place that really cares. YAY YOU!!! 🙂 

You get so caught up, maybe because of the thought of being in an inclusive place that you don’t see those that are perpetually left in the side-lines. You don’t see those that cannot afford to do all the nice things that you are doing. You don’t see those that are pushed to the sideline because of their religious affiliations. Those that choose to stand firm in their morals (whatever that means, and whatever that means to you), and are punished for it. Those that are not caught up in the “dude bro” mentality. Those that choose to respect women, those who do not rape women. Those that are homosexual, bisexual, transsexual and all the others that do not fit into heteronormativity. Those that are black. Those that are womxn. Those that do not look like upper management in any way, shape or form.. You slowly get exposed to the pseudo-inclusivity.

“We will accept you with open arms… If you are like us”.

And things start getting ugly because you start realising that the fish is rotten from the head down. And that all of these atrocities are spear-headed by management. All of these exclusionary practices are institutionalised. The institution moulds monsters that will wear proper-fitted suits and carry out their tasks with such decorum…

And That is MY Alma Mata… 

Where Leaders Learn to Exclude, Rape, and Kill Black Womxn

 

location-rhodes-01.jpg
Picture from 8A Grahamstown

Signed: Siyamthanda Gaxamba

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